This article is part of Football FanCast’s Off the Bench series, which places in-game managerial decisions and squad selections under FFC’s microscope.
It can often be difficult for players to adapt when playing in England for the first time.
The intensity of the Premier League can be hugely different to what the Bundesliga or La Liga offers, and any new signings for clubs residing in England’s top-flight should be afforded patience – especially if they’re arriving from an overseas side.
With Christian Pulisic at Chelsea, the situation is no different – that is exactly why Frank Lampard should have made the decision to bring him on against Brighton, despite the game being all but wrapped up at 2-0.
As aforesaid, the game was wrapped up in the 76th-minute after Willian’s goal doubled the Blues’ lead – Jorginho’s 50th-minute penalty had opened the scoring.
Lampard decided to sub Callum Hudson-Odoi on for Pedro in the 63rd-minute to give the academy graduate some game time, before bringing Mateo Kovacic on for Ross Barkley five minutes later.
The former Derby manager made his third and final sub in the 84th-minute when he withdrew Tammy Abraham for Michy Batshuayi, but here’s why Pulisic should have been one of his three changes.
The man signed from Borussia Dortmund for £58m is in need of Premier League game time.
The 21-year-old started against Sheffield United in his last league outing almost a month ago, but has not played a single league minute since.
Surely, with the game wrapped up at 2-0 in the 76th-minute, Lampard could have afforded to give the USA international some precious Premier League game time – admittedly, the forward played 90 minutes against Grimsby in the Carabao Cup, but there is nothing comparable to getting Premier League game time under your belt.
As Lampard continues to bed him in, surely a 14-minute cameo would have done Pulisic some good against Brighton.