Christian Pulisic insists he is not concerned about his £58 million ($71m) price tag and is adamant he will not ‘throw a fit’ about his lack of playing time at Chelsea.
The Blues signed the United States international from Borussia Dortmund in January, but Pulisic spent the second half of last season back on loan with the Bundesliga club before linking up with Frank Lampard’s side in the summer.
He has yet to make a sustained impact at Stamford Bridge and his 10-minute cameo as a substitute in Sunday’s 4-1 win at Southampton was his first Premier League appearance since the end of August.
The 21-year-old is battling with the likes of Willian, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Pedro for a place in Lampard’s starting line-up, and Pulisic is determined to keep fighting for minutes at Chelsea.
"This number doesn’t mean anything to me," Pulisic said at St Mary's regarding his transfer fee. "I go out and try to give my best every time I’m on the pitch. I’m not sure what the price tag means to you, but I just have to keep trying to perform at my best for myself and for the team.
“You can’t completely ignore it (comments on social media). I don’t live under a rock. I hear things, I see things, but I do my best to block it out. I’m just working hard for myself. The outside opinions don’t matter as much to me as to what’s in the team and myself and the people who care about me.
"So, I’m just going to keep working and do my best and not worry about it. Competition in the team can only make me better and I think that’s what makes teams, it’s guys who are maybe not the second or third man, but they are pushing each other in training every single day. That’s what a good team is all about.
“[Lampard] likes players who work very hard and show a lot in training and I just have to continue to do that, do my best in training and try to earn my position. Culture-wise, it’s been easier than Germany to be honest. From the football side, I guess you could say that [I am still adapting]."
Pulisic will now join up with the USMNT during the international break and will have the opportunity to work on his match fitness ahead of his return to west London.
He also heads off on the back of providing an assist for fellow substitute Michy Batshuayi against Southampton, and he was pleased to be able to contribute from the bench.
“That’s my job. I’m in an attacking role and I’m going to do the best I can, to try to get goals and assists," Pulisic added.
"I think that’s been good so far, so I just want to continue to work hard. I want to be starting. I want to be starting every game.
"I’m working hard in training. I want to be there. I hope everyone can see that, so with moments like this I hope I can make a case for myself. I’m not just going to throw a fit and give up ever, so if I’m on the bench it doesn’t mean the gaffer doesn’t think I’m a part of the team, I’ve just got to keep pushing and earn my spot.
“I did the best I could with the minutes I got. I tried to help the team as best I could. I guess I’m happy but I’m going to keep working harder, and I’m never going to stop trying to get more minutes.
“Of course, you want to play, be on the field and be in the team as much as you can, and it hurts not to be there, but I’m happy I got my opportunity.”
The USMNT face Cuba and Canada in upcoming CONCACAF Nations League matches and Pulisic, who has captained his country, is hoping positive performances for the national team will help him upon his return to Chelsea.
He said: “Yeah, definitely. When I go there, I definitely want to go in and get minutes and just gain more international experience. It can only help me here."