Sports Lampard says he never doubted Pulisic simply because he's American

20:30  29 october  2020
20:30  29 october  2020 Source:   thescore.com

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Frank Lampard responded Thursday to Red Bull Salzburg manager Jesse Marsch's suggestion that the Chelsea boss didn't initially rate Christian Pulisic because he's American.

Frank Lampard, Christian Pulisic are posing for a picture © Darren Walsh / Chelsea FC / Getty

Marsch said Lampard insisted in July 2019 that Pulisic "had a lot to learn" following a move from Borussia Dortmund.

"I was surprised that Jesse had managed to read my mind as well as he thought he did," Lampard said Thursday, according to ESPN UK's James Olley. "He's recounted the conversation wrong, I have to put it correct because it was the game against Salzburg were played and Christian scored two goals in preseason."

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Marsch said Lampard's perception of Pulisic was based on his American background and not his breakthrough spell at Dortmund that prompted a £58-million transfer to Chelsea.

Lampard noted that Marsch misunderstood their conversation about Pulisic and that he spoke highly of the 34-time capped international.

"Fair enough, Jesse came up to me and said what a talented player Christian was which I knew and I agreed with. I spoke about the fact it was so exciting to see how he could develop for us with the talent he has. That was the conversation," Lampard said. "Jesse managed to put it across slightly differently.

"Maybe Jesse knows the feeling of American managers and coaches that travel into Europe. But one thing I did have was I played in America for 18 months and I would never underestimate the desire that American soccer players - football players - have to learn, to improve, take on information and understand the technical side of the game."

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Pulisic recorded 11 goals in 34 appearances across all competitions in his debut season with Chelsea and was among the side's most important players when the Premier League resumed in June.

"That brings me onto Christian's development last year," Lampard said. "It is clearly the toughest league in the world to come and play at a young age from a different league. And it is not just Christian who will have felt that in the early stages."

He added: "And that's not me jumping on Jesse because there's probably a bigger issue there with American players. I don't want to comment on that - he can field that one himself - but as a manager I never doubted Christian and it is important for me to put that straight actually, more for Christian than anything."

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