Chelsea have explained the reasons behind Christian Pulisic and his dramatic improvement in recent months, with Frank Lampard pointing to his physical development during his first season playing in England.
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Pulisic, 21, has been one of the stars of the Premier League since the restart, scoring three goals and putting in several man of he match displays.
The USMNT winger will be Chelsea’s leading man against Manchester United in the FA Cup final on Sunday (start time, 1pm ET) and Lampard was asked about the reasons behind Pulisic’s superb form since the restart.
Here’s what the Chelsea boss said on Pulisic and his development.
“I’ve seen real improvement in his all-round game,” Lampard said. “Coming to the Premier League is very difficult because of the physical nature of the league. We have to remember how young Christian is and also the summer that he had.
“I think he found those physical demands pretty strong in the beginning and now you’re seeing him deal with those better. A lot of that is a credit to himself and how he’s approached it – he’s worked with our strength and conditioning coach Adam Burrows, who’s fantastic, but they’ve worked together so it’s Christian who has to take on that responsibility and he has.
“Physically that’s helped him but it’s also just his talent is coming through. Looking forward, I want to see more of what he’s shown in recent times which is goals and assists because that’s what the best in the world do in that position. I feel he has the capability to do that as he improves and that can be the edge as his game moves on levels.”
Anybody who has watched Pulisic since he burst onto the scene at the age of 17 knows he has always been small and the physical demands of the Premier League is greater than any other league in the world.
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Pulisic seems to have built more muscle, become even quicker and he benefitted from some rest after being out injured from January to March with a nasty adductor problem, as he finally had a break.
Remember: Pulisic went from playing for Dortmund in the spring of 2019 to playing for the USMNT at the Gold Cup in the summer of 2019 and then straight into preseason with Chelsea without a break.
Having a rest, plus extensive work on his physical attributes, has done wonders for the American winger who is now able to showcase his quality on the ball each and every time he steps on the pitch.
So much so that Chelsea are now counting on the Pennsylvania native to seal their top four spot and win them the FA Cup. Nobody would have predicted that after a tough first few months of the season for Pulisic.