Frank Lampard is backing Christian Pulisic to continue his positive development at Chelsea  this season after being handed the number 10 shirt at Stamford Bridge. The USA international enjoyed a solid debut season with the Blues last term as he helped Lampard’s men to finish in fourth place in the Premier League table and book their place in the Champions League.

Pulisic, 21, was particularly impressive in the second part of the campaign as he netted 11 goals in 34 games to help Chelsea qualify for Europe’s elite club competition.

The playmaker was not included in the squad for Chelsea FC’s 3-1 win over Brighton on Monday night as he continues his work up to full fitness following a hamstring injury suffered in the FA Cup final back in August.

Lampard opted to hand Pulisic the prestigious number 10 shirt at Stamford Bridge over the summer, and the Blues boss believes that it is just rewards for a fine debut season from the American. Speaking in an interview quoted by Metro, Lampard said: “I wanted him to have it [the number 10 shirt] because I felt like he deserved it and he wanted it.

“He came last year and Willian was almost the man in waiting at the club to take the number 10 shirt and I think it was right he took it with his experience.

“When it became open I think what Christian delivered in his first year more than warranted that he gets the shirt and what it means.

“I know it means a lot and there will be a few in that line to try and have that shirt but I was keen for him to have it and very pleased to actually make the call.

“I called him, as he was home at the time, and I could sense he was happy and I get the sense now it’s another little push up for him where he can hopefully feel confident that he’s here, he’s number 10, the responsibilities that come with that and I’ve got no worries with Christian.

“As I say, he’s hungry and the only thing we have to continue to do is manage him because he’s so fast and the way he plays, we have to manage and try to come away from those big injuries he had last year. “That’s something we’re working on. We all know what a fit Christian Pulisic can do.”

Meanwhile, Chelsea will return to Premier League action on Sunday afternoon when they welcome defending Premier League champions Liverpool to Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea sealed an impressive 3-1 win at Brighton and Hove Albion on Monday night thanks to goals from Jorginho, Reece James and Kurt Zouma.



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