Lampard challenges Pulisic to match Sterling, Mane and Salah

Pulisic opened the scoring in Chelsea’s entertaining 2-1 win over Manchester City at Stamford Bridge on Thursday (June 25) – a result that confirmed Salah, Mane and their team-mates as Premier League champions at the expense of Sterling his colleagues.

Chelsea continue the pursuit of a major honour of their own in the FA Cup on Sunday (June 28) when they travel to Leicester City for a quarter-final tie.

Pulisic, a £56.7million signing from Borussia Dortmund, was also on target in last weekend’s comeback victory at Aston Villa and now has eight across all competitions in his debut campaign for the Blues.

As his cool, crisp dribble and finish against City demonstrated, the 21-year-old United States star oozes class when on form and Lampard believes the sky is the limit.

“I think he can be a really big player,” said the former England midfielder.

“He broke through at such a young age in Germany and he moves to us and it’s a big move, expectations rise… we have to take his age into consideration.

“There’s no doubt about the quality, we can see that, and he’s very keen to improve and to work.

“If he looks at players around him who have made that sort of a jump, he has the ability to be like the Raheem Sterlings who are now producing numbers from wide areas. The Mo Salahs, the Manes.

“It’s important he understands the work that needs to be done to do that because he definitely has the talent to do that. He needs to try and get to that level.

“I’m delighted to have him at the minute, he works hard every day and he has to set his sights as high as he possibly can.”

Lampard was part of the Chelsea side that won the 2004 League Cup under Jose Mourinho – a triumph that proved a springboard for back-to-back Premier League title victories.

He is aware of the galvanising impact a trophy could have on the youthful members of the current Chelsea squad, not to mention their rookie coach.

“It was very important for us at the time because we were a team of not many winners, didn’t have too many titles between us, a relatively young team,” he recalled.

“Jose brought that to us, that mentality, and winning the first one obviously helps you to push on.

“In our team we have a mixture of some players who’ve been here and won a lot, but some young players who haven’t done that.”

Lampard added: “Myself, in my managerial career, I haven’t. I recognise the importance of that. That’s what we’re here for, to win things at a club like Chelsea.

“The FA Cup is something we’re going to give everything to. It’s a difficult game against Leicester, of course, because we know the quality they have.

“We have to focus on trying to go as far as we can. It would be a big boost if we could get further.”



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