Chelsea winger Christian Pulisic has spoken up about the spell when he struggled to find minutes under Frank Lampard.
The 22-year-old arrived at Stamford Bridge last summer and was touted to fill the void left by Eden Hazard, who left to join Real Madrid.
His display against Liverpool in the UEFA Super Cup in August last year excited the Chelsea fans, but he soon fell out of favour with Lampard. Especially in September, where Pulisic featured just once, and that was against Grimsby Town in the League Cup.
Speaking to Philadelphia Union II’s players and academy members, Pulisic admitted it was “the biggest challenge in his career” and even led to him questioning Lampard’s trust in his ability.
He said: “I started the first couple of games, I had pre-season and after that, I was benched and I was thinking ‘OK, maybe it’s just a game’.
“But I didn’t play for I don’t know how many games, six, seven, eight (games) — I felt like I wasn’t starting, I wasn’t playing and he (Lampard) wasn’t even subbing me in.
“When I went through that I was thinking in my head, ‘What am I doing wrong he’s not trusting me as he’s picking these other guys?’
“That was really hard for me to work through.
“But finally I got a start which was that Burnley game after a long time.
“In my head, I thought, ‘You know what if I’m going to start, just go in and play, don’t think’. Sure enough, against Burnley, I scored a hat-trick.
“It’s crazy how right after my biggest challenge is when one of my biggest moments happened.”
Pulisic had a convincing run of games from October to December where he scored six goals in 14 matches, but he suffered an injury on New Year’s Day and has been out of the team since.
The United States international has previously said he is now close to full recovery and, perhaps by the time the Premier League continues, he could make the comeback Chelsea fans have been waiting for.