Chelsea have not had the greatest start to their Premier League campaign under Frank Lampard.
With only one win in four games and a disastrous 4-0 thrashing by Manchester United in their season opener, Lampard is under pressure to find that winning formula.
And according to former Blues midfielder Quique de Lucas, Lampard needs to find his star player.
It was always likely Chelsea were going to struggle to adapt to the departure of Eden Hazard to Real Madrid in the summer, while also being prevented from signing players due to Fifa’s two-window transfer ban.
Hazard scored 85 goals and created 54 assists in 245 appearances in the Premier League for the Blues and replacing such a player is no easy feat.
Gianfranco Zola was the player De Lucas admits the team looked to when they needed a player to produce that magi moment to unlock their opponents defence and the Spaniard thinks Christian Pulisic might be able to fill that role for Lampard now.
“They don’t have that star figure we had on the pitch in Zola,” De Lucas told The Athletic.
“That is worrying. They need to find it.
“Chelsea need to find that X-factor. Maybe it will be Christian Pulisic.
“It’s difficult. No-one has that experience.”
Chelsea completed the signing of Pulisic in January for £57.6m from Borussia Dortmund but as part of the deal the Blues agreed to loan him back to the Bundesliga club for the remainder of last season.
The USA international has had a busy summer, as after helping Dortmund to second place in the league, he then joined up with the US national team and helped them reach the Concacaf Gold Cup final – where they lost to Mexico.
Although Pulisic is still developing as a player Lampard could rely heavily on the 20-year-old this season.
And the Blues manager will be hoping his winger can improve on last season’s performance for Dortmund when Pulisic scored seven goals and registered six assists in 30 appearances in all competitions.
But while De Lucas thinks Chelsea are missing a star player, he does think Lampard can be the one to make the difference for the club this season.
The 41-year-old is the Blues all-time record goal scorer and during his time at the club as a player has won multiple pieces of silverware, including three Premier League titles and the Champions League.
“For me, the one that can make the difference, albeit in a different way, has to be Frank,” De Lucas added.
“The fact he was part of the 2002-03 side who did it, having only signed myself, has to help him. He knows the club, what it means to play for the Chelsea shirt.
“The young players have to learn that when you put the Chelsea top on. Everyone is going to try to beat you. You have to be right at the top to win games.”