Frank Lampard couldn’t help his excitement after Christian Pulisic tortured Red Bull Salzburg with two goals and a drawn penalty in a 5-3 Chelsea win on Wednesday, but the first-year Blues manager made sure to pump the brakes a bit, too.
[ WATCH: Pulisic’s goals ]
“He is a big signing for us with big potential but the big question is he has to adapt to a different league,” Lampard said. “But I have seen already a really good attitude and a willingness to listen to information. He is 20 years of age so we have to remember he is young. I am happy to work with him, I want him to improve him.”
The American ironically had his big day against a countryman, as Jesse Marsch took the helm of the Austrian club in the offseason after a season as an assistant with RB Leipzig in the Bundesliga.
Lampard said what he liked most about Pulisic’s day was the style of the goals, which were both easy on the eyes and difficult to achieve against a good defense. The competition is about to get even better as Pulisic is likely to make his Premier League debut on Sunday, Aug. 11 on NBCSN against Manchester United (Watch live, 11:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).
“He showed his quality and I love the nature of his goals where he has an intention to run behind the line and not come short, and the finishing was good,” Lampard said. “It is what he is going to have to do because he is going to play in the Premier League and the Champions League, this is the top end. A winger has to have the desire not just to be tidy but to be getting in behind people and then with his quality he can be a really big player for us.”
The performance is very exciting, and Pulisic has put together a string of them for the Blues early in his tenure there. The question isn’t whether the youngster can have an impact on the Premier League, but whether his Chelsea ceiling is closer to Pedro and Willian (pretty darn high) or Eden Hazard.
American fans are hoping the latter.