Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has praised Christian Pulisic as being "at the real top-level" after the winger helped his side to secure a 2-1 comeback win at Aston Villa on Sunday.
Chelsea were 1-0 down at half-time, but Pulisic came on and leveled the scores in the 60th minute with a half-volley inside the area following Cesar Azpilicueta's right-wing cross.
Olivier Giroud netted home the winner to send the London club five points ahead of Manchester United and strengthen their claim for fourth place and a place in next season's UEFA Champions League, reports Xinhua news agency.
"He was hungry. I know that and I felt for him, as I felt for the players with long-term injuries." "The ability he's got to arrive in the box, it's a big thing, I've spoken about it with him all season,"said the Chelsea boss.
"It's the difference between being a very good player off the side, an attacking player, or the players at the real top level of the game that arrive and score in the six-yard box and hit numbers yearly."
"I really think Christian can do that, so I was really pleased with him, the impact he made when he came on."
It was the American winger's first appearance since January after a recovering from a thigh injury, and his performance convinced Lampard of his importance to the side.
"He will start games for us, of course, and I think he's going to be a big player for us, not just in this run-in but going forward."