Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has warned Christian Pulisic that his lofty price tag is not enough to guarantee him game time at the club.
The USA international was completely left out of the Chelsea squad for Wednesday night’s Champions League win at Lille, and has not featured in the Premier League for the club since the 2-2 draw with Sheffield United on August 31.
Pulisic joined Chelsea in a £58m deal from Borussia Dortmund in January, remaining with the Bundesliga side for the second half of last season before linking up with his new teammates this summer.
Despite his highly anticipated arrival, the winger has endured a slow start to life in English football and Lampard has warned the 21-year-old that his price tag is no guarantee of securing regular first-team football, citing the abundance of quality in his squad in similar positions.
“One of my problems in this job is that I have good players and everyone has their story – Christian has a price-tag, Ross Barkley is an international player, so too is Mason Mount,” Lampard said in his pre-match press conference.
— Talk Chelsea (@talkchelsea) October 5, 2019
“Callum Hudson-Odoi has just signed a new contract, Bayern Munich wanted to buy him, he is an international player, Ruben Loftus-Cheek will come back and be an international player… and I can’t pick them all in the game, unfortunately.
“All I have to demand of them is that they show me in training or show me in the game, when they get the chances to play, that they are worthy of their place.
“I spoke to Christian two days before the Grimsby game and was very clear about the standards. And we have to give him the fact he has moved country, leagues and is as young as all the young players we are talking about.
“He has just turned 21. So if anyone is getting too excited about this, they should calm down, frankly, because he has already started five games for us.
“What he needs to do is work daily, and work to show within the group that he deserves to play – as all the players do.
“I’ve been really pleased with Callum’s response to criticism and that has to continue.
“We can all focus on Pulisic, but Callum’s the same. I have to speak in the real world when I speak to them.”