AMSTERDAM – Chelsea's Christian Pulisic was left out of the squad entirely when they beat Lille in the Champions League earlier this month, but the 21-year-old's career sprang to life against Ajax Amsterdam on Wednesday.
The forward joined Chelsea from Borussia Dortmund for a fee of around 64 million euros ($71 million) in the close season to become the most expensive American player in history but has struggled for minutes, making only three Premier League starts.
Pulisic gave manager Frank Lampard a timely reminder of his talent by setting up fellow substitute Michy Batshuayi to score the winner against last year's semi-finalists Ajax at the Johan Cruijff Arena.
"Sometimes the toughest part of management is leaving out players that really want to play week-in, week-out. You rely on them being positive and coming on to make an impact," Lampard told reporters.
"You have to give Christian huge credit because he looked so lively and the assist is just as important as the finish."