IN days gone by, Chelsea may well have chewed up and spat out a young talent like Christian Pulisic due to impatience.
Mohamed Salah and Kevin De Bruyne both failed to hit the ground running at Stamford Bridge and were soon sold.
Yet these are different times at the Blues, partly because of their transfer ban but largely due to boss Frank Lampard’s faith in youth.
Mason Mount, Tammy Abraham, Fikayo Tomori and Callum Hudson-Odoi have been the standout young stars in Lampard’s fresh-faced side.
But Pulisic, a £58million buy from Borussia Dortmund, is now coming to the party with some eye-catching displays off the bench after a slow start.
It was enough to beat Ajax 1-0 and record the Blues’ sixth win on the trot, prompting Lampard to praise his subs.
Pulisic, who hopes to earn a start at Burnley, said: “I was given another opportunity and the manager told me, ‘Go in, make an impact, make a difference’ and I’m happy I was able to help a little bit with that.
“Michy is easy to play with — we have played together for a while and have a nice connection.
“I’m never going to let not starting put me down, I’m going to keep fighting because this is where I want to be.
“I want to make a difference. I want to be on the field, in whatever role that may be.”
The spotlight has been on Pulisic during his tough early days as he is effectively Chelsea’s only new buy, having been bought in January before returning to Dortmund on loan.
A US international — nicknamed Captain America — he also has to deal with massive interest from across the pond.
But as Cesar Azpilicueta, who made his 350th Blues appearance against Ajax, pointed out: “Christian is 21 and he has been playing since he was young at Dortmund.
“But England’s different. The pace of the game is different and we cannot forget this.
“Since Christian arrived he has been very good. Sometimes you need more time to adapt but he has done it in the last two games.
“That’s what we need Christian to do but we need to keep calm, to work with the young lads, we know that.”