Frank Lampard on Role of Michy Batshuayi, Christian Pulisic

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As it stands, the first team Chelsea FC final third and attacking midfield consists of Willian, Mason Mount, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Tammy Abraham. Behind them, fighting hard for playing time are

Christian Pulisic, the $72 million man signing, Pedro and Michy Batshuayi. Towards the tail end of Chelsea’s 4-1 win over Southampton yesterday, Pulisic, seeing his first league action since August, registered his fourth assist of the season, in just his sixth appearance. The man Pulisic set up at the 80′ was his former teammate at Borussia Dortmund, Batshuayi.

There just isn’t room right now, given how the Blues are nearly fully fit at these positions, but as the season wears on, and Chelsea finds themselves with something to play for in four competitions into the winter and possibly spring, you’ll see more squad rotation.

Batshuayi and Pulisic, who had an unused substitute in three Premier League fixtures and was left out of the last UCL squad entirely before yesterday, will see more minutes, especially so if the injury bug bites.

First year manager Frank Lampard explained that he has had to make some harsh decisions when it comes to his team selection.

“I get asked weekly ‘why is he not in the squad?’ and ‘why is he on the bench?’ when it comes to certain players,” Lampard said after the win at the south coast club.

“We need all of the players.”

“You need the contribution of Michy coming on and getting his goal. He’s been training really well. Christian coming on with a great assist for the goal. Those players, absolutely we need them as the games come thick and fast.

“At the moment we are going well and keeping a similar core of the team, but we are going to need everyone and that means training at a level and being happy as a complete group when we come away and get a result like this.”

Chelsea head into the international break in fifth place, but level on points with fourth place Leicester City. Right now, they look like a team on the rise; following a very slow start to the season. In order to keep moving up the table and remain in UCL next season, they will certainly need all hands on deck.

The attrition that comes over the course of a long season means that Batshuayi and Pulisic will most certainly get some chances, beyond just cup competition, eventually.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, the author of “No,  I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” regularly appears on WGN CLTV and co-hosts the “Let’s Get Weird, Sports” podcast on SB Nation

You can follow Banks, a former writer for NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com on Twitter here and his cat on Instagram at this link.

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