Brian McBride has praised Frank Lampard’s handling of Christian Pulisic during his initial struggles at Chelsea and has expressed his delight at seeing his fellow countryman thrive in the Premier League.
Pulisic arrived at Stamford Bridge last summer amid big expectations but initially endured a slow start to life in his new surroundings, before a hat-trick in Chelsea‘s 4-2 win over Burnley kickstarted an impressive run of form for the US international.
The 21-year-old’s progress has since been halted due to a combination of injury and the suspension of the Premier League season, however, former Everton and Fulham forward McBride – currently general manager of the US national side – has backed Pulisic to continue impressing and has lauded Lampard’s early ‘patience’ with the big-money signing.
“I think that’s the good thing about having a manager who has played the game at such a high level, because Frank was very patient with Christian at the beginning,” McBride told Chelsea’s official US podcast, Mike’d Up.
“Christian’s moved over to a new country, joined a new team and had to establish himself in a new league. There could have been the pressure there on him to deliver straightaway but Frank understood that he needed to have time to adapt.
“So, from a US national team perspective, that was really nice to see. We don’t know what was happening behind-the-scenes at the club and how hands on that would have been, but it allowed time for Christian to settle in, adapt and integrate into the team. He was then able to understand how both Chelsea and Frank wanted him to play.
“Then when the time was right, Frank really let Christian loose and you could see before the injury he was really sharp, he was quick on his heels and he was hurting opposition defenders.
“He seemed to really find a good bond with Tammy [Abraham] too. He was supplying him with good deliveries, and he was able to run off him and link-up well. So, the timing of the injury was very unfortunate, not only for Christian, but for Chelsea too.”