Frank Lampard says Christian Pulisic ‘deserves’ to wear Chelsea’s No.10 shirt and believes the decision hand him the jersey will only motivate the winger.
Pulisic impressed in his debut Premier League season at Chelsea with 11 goals and 10 assists in 34 matches last campaign.
Willian only took over Eden Hazard’s No.10 shirt last summer but after the Brazilian’s transfer to Arsenal in August, Lampard chose to hand the number to Pulisic.
And the Chelsea head coach is confident the USA international will live up to the expectations that come with being the blues’ No.10.
‘I wanted him to have it because I felt like he deserved it and he wanted it,’ Frank Lampard told NBC’s Inside the Mind. ‘He came last year and Willian was almost the man in waiting at the club to take the No.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.
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‘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.’