Chelsea centre-back Fikayo Tomori believes Christian Pulisic’s hat-trick against Burnley on Saturday will force his teammates to raise their game.
Pulisic had been frustrated with playing time over the past month, having played just 36 minutes of Premier League action since the end of August – prior to Saturday’s game.
How is Pulisic progressing? Five things to know…
- Christian Pulisic started four of Chelsea’s first five games of the season.
- But after struggling to perform, he played just one of the next six.
- The American has impressed in cameo roles recently, recording two assists in substitute appearances.
- He was rewarded with a start against Burnley and scored a perfect hat-trick.
- Fikayo Tomori believes this will keep Chelsea’s stars on their toes.
But he put in impressive and effective cameo performances in the Premier League and Champions League, recording two assists as Chelsea beat Southampton and Ajax, while also putting in a telling contribution in the win over Newcastle United.
Chelsea manager Frank Lampard rewarded Pulisic with a start at Turf Moor in place of Callum Hudson-Odoi, and the American repaid that faith by scoring his first three competitive goals for the club in the form of a perfect hat-trick; opening the scoring with his left foot, doubling the lead with his right and grabbing a third with his head.
And Tomori believes Pulisic’s performance will keep Chelsea’s stars on their toes.
“Everyone is disappointed when they don’t play,” he told the Evening Standard.
“We have got a lot of talented players, so you just have to be patient and when you get your chance you have just got to take it like he did on Saturday.
“I am really happy for him – that patience and hard work he showed in training has paid off. You have got to be on top of your game, not only in the games but in training as well.
“It is good Christian has come in because everyone has to be on their toes. No one knows their position is safe and that drives the team on and brings the best out of each individual.”
Tomori himself has reaped the rewards for making the most of an opportunity. The 21-year-old was handed a chance in the team following an injury to Andreas Christensen, with Antonio Rudiger already out. And he has used that opportunity to show his abilities as a top-level centre-back, becoming an almost-certain starter for the Blues even when all defenders are fit.
Subscribe to Squawka’s Youtube channel here.
Tomori: Competitiveness will improve Chelsea
Chelsea’s victory over Burnley at the weekend took their winning run to seven games across all competitions, helping the Blues turn their season around. Lampard’s side had endured a tough start to the new campaign, winning just two of their opening eight games across all competitions.
But they now sit fourth in the Premier League, lead their Champions League group and are still in the Carabao Cup – set to face Manchester United on Wednesday. And Tomori believes Pulisic’s hat-trick on Saturday will have a positive impact on the performances of the Chelsea squad as a whole.
“Callum was rested on Saturday and Christian comes in and scores a hat-trick,” he added.
“That is going to raise Callum’s game and then Christian is going to want to keep raising his game to stay in the team.
“We have a young team, an exciting team, and we all try to help each other out as the games go on and in training.
“We don’t feel like we are young players, we are just trying to improve ourselves and to keep our places in the team.”