March claims Lampard didn't rate Pulisic when he first joined

‘Lampard’s idea of Pulisic was shaped by the fact he was American’: RB Salzburg boss Jesse March claims the Chelsea manager didn’t rate the winger when he first joined as he is from the United States

  • Jesse Marsch believes Frank Lampard didn’t originally rate Christian Pulisic
  • The RB Salzburg coach spoke to the Chelsea manager about the winger last year
  • He believes Lampard’s opinion was shaped by the fact Pulisic is from America
  • Marsch said Lampard has realised Pulisic is a better player than he first thought 

RB Salzburg manager Jesse Marsch has claimed Frank Lampard didn’t originally rate Christian Pulisic because he is American.

The winger signed for Chelsea in January 2019 but did not arrive at Stamford Bridge until the summer, which coincided with Frank Lampard’s appointment as manager.

Pulisic found himself in and out of the first team at the start of last season while injuries also hampered his progress. However, by the end of the campaign the 22-year-old was in electric form and was arguably the club’s best player after the restart. 

RB Salzburg boss Jesse March (R) says Frank Lampard did not originally rate Christian Pulisic

Marsch believes Lampard questioned the winger’s technical ability because he is American

The 22-year-old was one of Chelsea’s best players after the restart of the 2019-2020 season

He scored four goals and made four assists in the last nine league games of the season. He also gave the Blues the lead in the FA Cup final before he was forced off with an injury.

While Pulisic’s ability has shone through in recent months, Marsh says Lampard was initially unsure the American was tactically ready for the demands of Premier League football. 

‘The perception in Europe, mostly, is that the American player is willing to run, willing to fight, has good mentality, but technically they’re not very gifted and tactically they’re not very aware and their experiences aren’t very big,’ Marsch told Extratime Radio. 

Marsch believes the perception that American players aren’t technically good is changing

‘But we’re seeing that change. We’re seeing more and more of these players develop themselves.

‘Even Frank Lampard, when I spoke to him in preseason a year ago now, I was talking to him about having Christian Pulisic and he was kind of like, “Yeah, he’s got a lot to learn so we’ll see how he does.”

‘I said to him, “Listen, he was at Dortmund, and they had a high level of tactical thinking, of playing, and he was very successful.” 

Pulisic made his Borussia Dortmund league and Champions League debut at the age of 17

‘I could see right away that Frank Lampard’s idea of Christian Pulisic was shaped a lot by the fact that he was American and not that his football education came a lot from what has happened in Germany. Since then, I think Lampard has learned that Pulisic is a lot better than he gave him credit for.’

Pulisic made the move to Borussia Dortmund at the age of 16 and started training with Jurgen Klopp’s first team a year later. By the time he was 17, he had made his Bundesliga and Champions League debut and in 2017 he became their youngest ever scorer in the competition at the age of 18 years, 5 months and 18 days.

‘He was considered one of the best young players in Germany and that’s in a group of players with Timo Werner, Kai Havertz, Joshua Kimmich, these kinds of players,’ Marsch added.

‘He was in a group with those players, and it’s not just because he was talented but it was because he understood the tactics and understood how to fit in the game and he was developing a real astute way of how to play. 

‘Christian had to fight for that, which is the American quality, but he’s a damn good player. Same with Gio Reyna, same with Tyler Adams, same with Weston McKennie.’

Pulisic made his first start since returning from injury in Chelsea’s 3-3 draw with Southampton on Saturday and could play a part in the Champions League tie with Sevilla tonight. 

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