Popular football analyst Chris Sutton has indicated that Chelsea manager Frank Lampard would not have signed Christian Pulisic had be been managing the club in January. The American joined the Blues during the January transfer window for £58 million from Borussia Dortmund. He was immediately loaned back to the Bundesliga outfit for the second half of last season before being integrated into the Chelsea first-team permanently during the summer.
“He has to prove himself,” Sutton told Radio 5 Live.
“Frank Lampard has no agenda against him, he’s picking the best possible team to win games of football, that’s his job.
“He wasn’t Frank’s signing, of course.
“With [Callum] Hudson-Odoi and Mason Mount coming to the fore, he’s going to have a major issue getting into the starting line-up. I really do think that. I don’t see a way in for him at the moment.
“Fifty-eight million, a lot of money to spend and it would be interesting to ask Frank now if he would sign him at this moment in time if he hadn’t signed him before? The answer to that, I think, is pretty obvious – he wouldn’t.
“But, there’s a reason Chelsea spent the money on him, he’s still a young man and got enormous talent, he has to go out and show it. It’s good for Frank in terms of strength in depth.”
Pulisic has failed to deliver so far
Pulisic was one of the Chelsea players who had heavy expectations placed on him ahead of this season. After some promising showings during the pre-season, he was handed starts during the first few Premier League games of the season as well as for the UEFA Super Cup against Liverpool. However, he has quickly found himself falling down the pecking order after some unconvincing displays. He is now below the likes of Pedro, Willian, Mason Mount and Callum Hudson-Odoi in Lampard’s pecking order.
Some reports have even suggested that the 21-year-old could even start looking for a new club during the January transfer window if he fails to get more regular game time between now and then.
Sutton may be correct
Sutton is a pundit who is known for being controversial but in this case, there might be a lot of substance to his views. It is quite evident that Mount is highly-rated by Lampard and he had him in his plans ahead of this season. Had Lampard been managing the club in January, he would probably not have signed Pulisic bearing in mind that Mount would have been in his plans.
Chelsea signed Pulisic under Maurizio Sarri during a time in which Hudson-Odoi’s future seemed uncertain and when it looked unlikely that Mount would be placed into the first-team plans anytime soon.