Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has ruled out the possibility of midfielder Christian Pulisic being sent out on loan in January.
The 21-year-old American signed for Chelsea in January 2019 but was immediately loaned back to Borussia Dortmund for the remainder of the season.
Will Pulisic be sent out on loan by Chelsea? Five things to know…
- Christian Pulisic has played in eight of Chelsea’s 13 games so far this season.
- But the American has accumulated just 481 minutes in those matches.
- His lack of playing time has led to Pulisic being linked with a loan move in January.
- Chelsea currently have 27 players out on loan.
- But Frank Lampard has ruled out such a move for Pulisic, insisting Chelsea are protecting the 21-year-old.
Pulisic finally linked up with his new team in the summer, as Chelsea were starting life under Frank Lampard having just seen Eden Hazard leave for Real Madrid. The 21-year-old was hoped to be one of those to fill Hazard’s boots, but Pulisic has so far struggled to win a consistent place in Chelsea’s starting XI.
After starting the opening game of the Premier League season on the bench, Pulisic has handed his full debut in the Uefa Super Cup final, recording an assist for Olivier Giroud’s opener.
He has rewarded for a good performance by starting Chelsea’s next three league games but since the start of September he has played just three times, missing both Champions League fixtures.
Of those three appearances, two have come in the Premier League, including a 10-minute cameo against Southampton in which he recorded an assist. This has led some fans to ask for Pulisic to play a bigger role at Chelsea.
And when asked about the possibility of Pulisic going out on loan in January, Lampard bluntly replied: “No.”
He added: “With Christian, he’s come to us in a big move, let’s make no mistake about it, and then he’s just turned 21 recently, and we’ve got a competitive squad here.
“I said it before the last game, I always have a problem with who to pick. People make my decisions in training or how they’re playing, and at the minute with winning four on the bounce I need the edge of staying in the team and keep performing and everyone is the same.”
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‘Chelsea have to protect Pulisic’
Lampard went on to remind those watching on of Pulisic’s age, with the American only recently celebrating his 21st birthday – having broke through at Dortmund as a 17-year-old.
“With Christian coming here, we have to protect him for that fact because he’s young,” he added.
“Christian, as with every player in the squad, needs to work hard in training, keep improving in training, see the direction we’re going, be a part of it, and show what you can do on a match day, and all the players are the same there.
“It is [easy to forget his age]. You can look beyond that because he came through at a very young age at Dortmund and huge credit to him for that. It’s amazing to come through that. He was playing at a top level team at Dortmund.
“There were times when he was in the team, times when he wasn’t, that’s part of development. I was fortunate when I came through in my day because West Ham didn’t have too many players in front of me, so I got opportunities. The pathway was open.
“With Christian, huge credit to him for coming through at Dortmund at a young age, but then it brings other difficulties where sometimes you’re out of the team.
“You come to Chelsea and it’s a similar situation. The demands are huge. The interest from outside is huge and he’s a young boy. I have no problem. I see the big picture with Christian and I see it with all the young players.”