Football

‘We simply can’t risk him’ – Chelsea boss Lampard explains Pulisic omission for Everton clash

It’s been a stop-start campaign for the 22-year-old, who missed out again for the Blues on Saturday

Chelsea head coach Frank Lampard has said he couldn’t afford to take a chance with Christian Pulisic after he was omitted from his side for Saturday’s trip to Everton.

Pulisic has struggled with injuries this season and with Hakim Ziyech and Callum Hudson-Odoi currently out, Lampard said he wasn’t going to risk the U.S. international for the game at Goodison Park. 

He did express some hope, however, that Pulisic could return for Tuesday night’s Premier League clash against Wolves. 

“Christian has a bit of awareness in his hamstring,” Lampard said to reporters prior to the game. “He’s been training through the week but he felt some awareness and we simply can’t risk him.

“We have seen two wingers go down recently, Ziyech last week and Callum in training. We are coming up to a busy period in the season. As we keep saying, players are getting a lot of muscle injuries.

“Christian wasn’t quite ready, but hopefully for Tuesday night, we will find out next week.”

Pulisic has endured an injury-hit season, as he’s been limited to just eight total appearances for the Blues. He missed several games at the beginning of the campaign while recovering from a hamstring injury he suffered in last term’s FA Cup final, while he then missed more time in October and November with another hamstring problem.

The U.S. international played 60 minutes against Leeds last weekend after entering the match in the first half for an injured Ziyech. He would go on to score in the second half as the Blues won 3-1.

Following that match he was left on the bench for Chelsea’s midweek draw against Krasnodar in the Champions League.

After the Krasnodar match, Lampard said that Pulisic’s hamstring had again become an issue, though he refrained from calling it an injury while insisting he would be ready to face Everton.

“Christian is a work in progress,” Lampard said ahead of the trip to Goodison Park. “I don’t want to call this an injury that he had in midweek. If the game had been a different type of game, then maybe I would have used him.

“We know his abilities and that’s very clear. He showed them when he came on against Leeds in midweek. I just have to find the best way of getting it out of him consistently. Christian had a tiny bit of awareness off the back of the Leeds game on one of his hamstrings but he’s training normally, so we should be as we were.”

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