Frank Lampard has challenged Christian Pulisic to set his sights ‘as high as he possibly can’ and use the likes of Raheem Sterling, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane as a yardstick to base his own game on.
Pulisic initially struggled to make an impact following his £58million move from Borussia Dortmund but the 21-year-old attacker has shown flashes of brilliance under Frank Lampard this season.
The United States international started on the bench for Chelsea’s trip to Aston Villa in the Premier League last weekend but scored just five minutes after being introduced in the second half as the Blues went on to secure a 2-1 win.
Lampard then started Pulisic at home to Manchester City and the winger produced an outstanding performance at Stamford Bridge against Pep Guardiola’s champions, scoring a solo wonder goal in the 36th minute at Stamford Bridge.
‘I think he can be a really big player, because he broke through at such a young age in Germany and he made a big move, obviously expectations rise but you have to keep the age in consideration,’ Lampard said ahead of Chelsea’s FA Cup quarter-final clash with Leicester.
‘There is no doubt about his quality, we can see that and he is very keen to improve. He’s particularly hungry at the minute because he missed some time with an injury.
‘If he looks at players around him that have made that sort of a jump, he has the ability like Raheem Sterling to produce numbers from wide areas, like Salah and Mane.
‘He understands the work that needs to be done to do that. He definitely has the talent, he needs to get to that level.
‘I’m delighted to have him at the minute, he works hard everyday, he has to set his sights as high as he possibly can.’
Lampard is anticipating a tough test away to a Leicester side who are yet to suffer defeat since season’s return earlier this month.
‘It will be a difficult game against Leicester because we know the qualities they have, but we have to focus on trying to go as far as we can,’ the Chelsea head coach said.
‘It would be a big boost if we can get further, but when you’re just going into a quarter-final it is hard to jump too far ahead because we’re going to have tough matches.’
On the significance of the FA Cup, Lampard added: ‘I think it’s important.
‘You have to have that idea (to win trophies every season). But, in reality, the competition you are up against and the teams that are still in the FA Cup, it’s going to be tough.
‘We’re in a year of slight transition and the big focus is always the league, of course.
‘But when it comes to Chelsea, no matter what, you want to try to win – and when you get to the quarter-final, you want to try and get to Wembley and you want to try to win it.
‘So it’s important for us to focus on that. We’re building, we are working. It won’t be easy to win this trophy, but with the squad we have and the positive feeling within the group at the moment, we have to go into it with the right intention.’
For more stories like this, check our sport page.Follow us: