Frank Lampard has stressed that he wants strong competition for places at Chelsea after deciding to drop Christian Pulisic from his squad for the win over Lille in the
Chelsea secured their first victory in Group H as goals from Tammy Abraham and Willian sealed a 2-1 win against Lille on Wednesday evening.
But Lampard surprised supporters before the game as Pulisic, a £58 million signing from Borussia Dortmund, was not even named as a substitute.
The 21-year-old has only featured sporadically so far this season and has struggled for playing time with competition from Willian, Pedro, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Mason Mount.
Willian scored Chelsea’s second-half winner against Lille and Lampard praised the Brazilian’s work ethic and insists his attacking players ‘must be on edge’ as they fight for a place in his side.
‘He’s been really important. He’s a top player, I want to see him happy and have a smile on his face,’ Lampard told Chelsea TV when asked about Willian’s contribution after the win over Lille.
‘His work ethic has been brilliant.
‘He can take people out with his speed and trickery, and he can score goals for us.
‘And that’s a lovely balance for the younger players
‘We have to have really strong competition in wide areas and attacking areas.
‘It must be like that, it must be on edge, and I’ve got a few different options in that area.
‘But Willian gives us experience and he’s shown in the last two games with goals on top of great work ethic and quality.’