EPL

Pulisic's impact at Chelsea similar to Hazard's – Lampard

By Sports Desk July 22, 2020

Frank Lampard believes Christian Pulisic's impact on Chelsea is comparable to Eden Hazard's at Stamford Bridge.

Pulisic scored and provided an assist after coming off the bench during the second half of Chelsea's 5-3 Premier League loss to Liverpool on Wednesday.

The United States international, 21, has scored nine league goals and provided four assists in 24 games, comparable to Hazard's first campaign (nine goals and 11 assists in 34 matches) at Chelsea in 2012-13.

Lampard lauded the attacker and said Pulisic's impact on Chelsea was similar to Hazard's, with the Belgian having left for Real Madrid last year.

"He is hugely important. He has had that impact," the Chelsea head coach told a news conference.

"I was here for Eden's first year and it's not easy to come into the Premier League, even for Eden in that first year, and adapt to the Premier League. Christian has had his moments of that.

"Since mid-season he's had a really good patch, since the restart he has been in incredible form. Only the injury he picked up in the Norwich game has kept him out of the [FA Cup] semi-final when he is flying.

"Today he comes on and has 40 minutes, which is great for the injury to feel confident with it and shows the quality that he has been showing. He's so young, he has got such natural talent. He scores goals, he creates goals and he is a big player for us. Delighted to see him come through fit. Clearly he will be a big player for us in these next few games but going forward as well."

Chelsea twice trailed by three goals against Liverpool, who sealed their win late on after the visitors had come back to a 4-3 deficit.

But Lampard had no criticism for under-fire goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga, with Liverpool producing several good finishes.

"I wouldn't talk about individuals in a game where we have conceded those goals. Some were real quality Liverpool finishes, particularly the free-kick [from Trent Alexander-Arnold]," he said.

"There were some collective and individual errors for them but what we did do was contribute towards a really good game. At 4-3 it felt like we would get back into the game. I felt it throughout. At 3-0 it was difficult but even at 3-1 and what that gave us and the way we were playing in the game.

"We know where we're at and we know if we make mistakes like that against a team of the quality of Liverpool, this is what can happen. But there were a lot of good things in the game so I certainly don't want to get into an individual conversation about players. 

"We've now got two big domestic games to play this week. It's important we go in together as players, fans, everybody, to finish the season how we want."

With one league game remaining, Chelsea are a point clear of fifth-placed Leicester City, while they will face Arsenal in the FA Cup final on August 1.

Related items

  • Milan sign Chelsea youngster Tomori on loan with an option to buy Milan sign Chelsea youngster Tomori on loan with an option to buy

    Chelsea defender Fikayo Tomori has completed his loan move to Milan, the Premier League club have confirmed.

    Tomori will spend the rest of this season with the Serie A leaders after finding first-team opportunities limited under Frank Lampard at Stamford Bridge.

    Milan have an option to make the deal permanent, with the transfer fee in question - although not disclosed by either club - reported to be in the region of £25million.

    The 23-year-old made his first-team breakthrough at Chelsea last season, having impressed on loan at Derby County throughout 2018-19, when Lampard was in charge of the Championship club.

    An England debut against Kosovo in November 2019 followed and, although his rapid rise has since been checked, the Chelsea head coach believes Tomori still has a very bright future.

    "Fikayo is a developing player, a very good player," Lampard told reporters ahead of Chelsea's FA Cup fourth-round match against Luton Town.

    "I have seen him rise from his time at Derby as a good talent to one of the best defenders in the Championship and then an England international and a Chelsea regular. 

    "His journey has been great. He is going to be a top player, but he is a developing player, too."

    Milan are three points ahead of Inter at the Serie A summit as the season approaches the halfway point and host Atalanta on Saturday.

    Tomori is their third signing of this window after the captures of midfielder Soualiho Meite on loan from Torino and experienced forward Mario Mandzukic on a free transfer.

    He is also Chelsea's second loan departure following Danny Drinkwater's move to Kasimpasa of the Turkish Super Lig.

  • Odegaard to Arsenal? Madrid leave midfielder out of LaLiga squad amid speculation Odegaard to Arsenal? Madrid leave midfielder out of LaLiga squad amid speculation

    Martin Odegaard will not be involved for Real Madrid against Deportivo Alaves amid speculation he could be set to join Arsenal. 

    Odegaard excelled out on loan at Real Sociedad in the 2019-20 season but has found first-team opportunities limited under Zinedine Zidane upon his return to the Spanish capital.  

    The Norway international has failed to score or assist in his nine appearances this season in all competitions and, having made just five starts, seems keen to seal a move away in January.  

    A return to the Basque club – where he managed seven goals and nine assists in 36 appearances – appeared to be on the cards, but Arsenal have now emerged as the clear favourites to sign the midfielder on loan.  

    Madrid assistant coach David Bettoni, who is to take charge of Madrid while Zidane isolates after testing positive for coronavirus, was asked about Odegaard's future during his media duties on Friday - and hinted there could be developments in the player's situation soon.

    "What happened with Martin is something that I don't know too well," Bettoni said.  

    "I'm the assistant coach and there are some things that I don't follow too closely, so I can't give the exact context.  

    "He is an important member of the squad and we'll see what happens with him in the coming days."  

    Odegaard is not part of Madrid's squad for Saturday's LaLiga trip to Alaves amid speculation he could be confirmed at Arsenal imminently. 

    The 22-year-old created 62 chances in LaLiga last term - a tally only beaten by four other players, one of which was predictably Barcelona talisman Lionel Messi.  

    His contributions in terms of goals and assists helped La Real finish in sixth place. They also reached the Copa del Rey final, though that fixture against rivals Athletic Bilbao is yet to take place due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. 

     

    The addition of Odegaard would add some welcome creativity to Mikel Arteta's squad, the Gunners having managed just 23 goals in 19 league games so far in what has been a topsy-turvy 2020-21 season.  

    Arsenal have created 158 scoring opportunities, of which 33 are considered big chances by Opta, well adrift of the league-high 53 recorded by Manchester City this term. The Gunners have managed 20 goals from 221 attempts (excluding penalties), slightly below their xG figure of 23. 

    Emile Smith Rowe has been a revelation of late, contributing three assists in open play, but no individual has created more chances for the Premier League club than full-back Kieran Tierney, his total of 22 putting him one above Bukayo Saka. 

    Having been busy so far in January trimming the squad, including the impending departure of Mesut Ozil, Arteta has admitted he hopes to make additions before the transfer window closes. 

    "We are in that process right now, we have done the first part more or less and we are focusing now on the second phase," he told the media on Thursday. 

    "Obviously this market and the context makes it difficult, but we are looking at options and we will see what we can do."

  • Kevin De Bruyne injured: Liverpool, Man Utd and other games Man City star could miss Kevin De Bruyne injured: Liverpool, Man Utd and other games Man City star could miss

    Next month's trip to Liverpool is a no-go for Kevin De Bruyne, while March's crunch derby with Manchester United could be a return date for Manchester City's star midfielder.

    That is the predicament facing Pep Guardiola after he confirmed the Belgium international will be out for four to six weeks due to a hamstring injury sustained during the 2-0 midweek win over Aston Villa.

    De Bruyne, the reigning PFA Players' Player of the Year, has been in typically sparkling form for City this term, scoring three times and providing 10 assists in the Premier League.

    Guardiola's men are two points shy of league leaders United with a game in hand and into the last-16 of the Champions League.

    Here, we look at the key games within a battle on all fronts where the EFL Cup finalists will be missing their talisman.

    Cheltenham Town (A) - January 23

    De Bruyne would probably have been rested for the weekend clash with League Two Cheltenham Town in any case, although the fifth round on February 10 also looks to be out of the question if City progress. In 16 appearances in the FA Cup, he has five goals and as many assists - claiming one of each in the 6-0 demolition of Watford in the 2019 final

    West Brom (A) - January 26

    City are back in Premier League action against Sam Allardyce's relegation-threatened Baggies next week. De Bruyne has two goals and three assists against the Baggies in the competition but could not manage a goal involvement as Ilkay Gundogan and Raheem Sterling failed to convert his late crosses during December's 1-1 draw at the Etihad Stadium. City have won nine games in a row across all competitions since that setback.

    Sheff Utd (H) - January 30

    Another relegation candidate follows, with bottom club Sheffield United facing a daunting trip to Manchester. De Bruyne created Sergio Aguero's opener before completing the scoring for a 2-0 win in this fixture last season.

    Burnley (A) - February 3

    Perhaps surprisingly, giving City's succession of recent 5-0 wins over Burnley, De Bruyne has never scored against Sean Dyche's men in the Premier League. He does have three assists, including the decisive passes for Riyad Mahrez and Benjamin Mendy to net during the most recent mauling last November.

    Liverpool (A) - February 7

    De Bruyne scored from the penalty spot as City beat the recently crowned champions 4-0 last July, although he missed uncharacteristically from 12 yards in this season's 1-1 draw at the Etihad Stadium. Even though none of his five Premier League assists against Liverpool have come at Anfield, he will be a huge miss when City chase a first win on the red side of Stanley Park since 2003.

    Tottenham (H) - February 13

    De Bruyne scored in each of his first three Premier League appearances against Spurs and set up both City goals as the sides shared a thrilling 2-2 draw at the Etihad last season. Jose Mourinho's men were the last team to inflict a defeat upon City, 17 games ago.

    Arsenal (A) - February 21

    No Premier League team has conceded more goals to De Bruyne than Arsenal's five. City's number 17 scored twice and dazzled throughout in a 3-0 win at Emirates Stadium last term.

    Borussia Monchengladbach (A) - February 24

    UEFA named De Bruyne their Midfielder of the Season following his performances on City's run to the quarter-finals in 2019-20. Despite his club's patchy record in Europe's top competition, the 29-year-old has seven goals and 15 assists in 37 Champions League appearances for the English side.

    West Ham (H) - February 27

    Rodri converted De Bruyne's corner before the man himself rounded off a 2-0 win over West Ham when the teams met on February 19 last year. It was the last time fans were allowed into the Etihad Stadium.

    Manchester United (H) - March 6

    This could be the biggest Manchester derby for almost a decade given the state of play at the top of the table and must surely be the comeback target for De Bruyne. He opened the scoring in a 2-1 Premier League win at Old Trafford in 2016, a strike that remains his only goal involvement in seven league games against United.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.