Chelsea coach Frank Lampard believes winger Christian Pulisic has taken his game to the next level amidst comparisons to former superstar Eden Hazard.
The 21-year-old joined Chelsea from Borussia Dortmund in the off-season in a €60-million transfer but struggled for consistency within the physical demands of the Premier League.
But since the return of football after the coronavirus enforced suspension of the English top-flight, the United States of America captain has been in sparkling form for the Blues.
His direct running and pace on the left side of Chelsea's front-three have brought comparisons to Hazard, who he replaced after a €100m move to Real Madrid and with three goals and two assists in his last five league games, Lampard is full of optimism about his future at Stamford Bridge.
"He's hugely important because he's got great talent," Lampard told SkySports after their 3-1 win over Crystal Palace.
"Earlier on in the season, at the start, he came here, difficult conditions in terms of [he] hadn't really had a break early in the season, but he started to play really well for us, and now he's moved his game on another level, not just in how he's going by people but real end product.
"Look around at the top attacking players in the world, and they score goals regularly to win games, and at the moment, he's doing that, so I'm delighted with him."
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His teammate and Germany international defender Christian Rudiger echoed the comments of Lampard and suggested that he'll develop to be an integral part of the club's long-term future.
"I think Christian handles the pressure very well and you can see that when he is fit," Rudiger told the club's website.
"He's scored goals but he’s also creating goals and he’s a big player for us. I think if he continues in this way, and stays healthy then he can become a very important player for this club."