Chelsea

Chelsea: Christian Pulisic’s versatility shouldn’t be underestimated

Chelsea: Christian Pulisic’s versatility shouldn’t be underestimated

Chelsea are once again in the headlines, with Frank Lampard (per the Standard) potentially replacing Juventus’ new man, Maurizio Sarri.

What. A. Story.

Obviously, whether the former Blue does make a dramatic return remains to be seen, but regardless of who is in the hot seat come August, it will be one of their most difficult campaigns in recent memory.

Perhaps the most limiting factor for the incoming manager is the two-window transfer ban inflicted on Chelsea following an investigation into their acquisitions of foreign u-18 players. Furthermore, with Eden Hazard officially joining Real Madrid, as well as the likes of Olivier Giroud, Willian and Pedro another year older, Chelsea look limited in attack, right?

Well, yes but they will be hopeful of a successful return for Callum Hudson-Odoi and it could also be a big season for Christian Pulisic.

The American attacker was signed for £58m earlier in the year before immediately being loaned back to Borussia Dortmund so fans will have been waiting to see what he can do on these shores for a while. While it perhaps wasn’t the most amazing season for the young attacker, after largely being outshone by Jadon Sancho, Pulisic did chip in with four goals and fours assists in 20 league appearances in just nine starts.

Indeed, his campaign last time shouldn’t necessarily discourage Chelsea fans, however. In terms of experience, the youngster made his Bundesliga bow aged 17 and already has over 100 appearances in one of Europe’s top five leagues, as well as 25 for the senior USA team. Clearly, this is a talent thought of highly.

In fact, going into the 2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup, Goal have described him as their unquestioned leading star.

Perhaps something most don’t know is that he was actually a playmaker throughout his time in USA’s youth set-up, a position manager Gregg Berhalter intends to use him in during the tournament. It’s quite a talent to play both as a direct, attacking winger and a more central playmaker, something Hazard did well in SW6. As per WhoScored, the former Lille ace made 6 appearances through the middle last term, notching 3 goals, so having someone who can perform both duties is obviously a plus.

According to Transfermarkt, Pulisic has made 30 appearances in the same role over the course of this career, bagging 11 goals himself, so he does appear to have the ability to at least fill in at both positions.

It remains to be seen as to how much Pulisic will actually be utilised next season. But they certainly have a vastly talented player in their squad. The American actually averaged more dribbles than Willian and Pedro last season and scored more than the former (as per WhoScored). Over 10 years younger than both, that’s mightily promising.

Who knows, he could end up being the man to replace Eden Hazard in more ways than one.

Chelsea fans, are you excited to see Pulisic in action next season? Will he be good enough to break into the team? Comment below. 

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