Could Christian Pulisic be the new Eden Hazard?
Since the restart of the English Premier League, Christian Pulisic’s stock has done nothing but rise. Chelsea have won four games on the bounce, with the American contributing two goals and three assists during the run.
Such has the Chelsea winger impressed in recent games, many leading pundits have drawn comparisons with Eden Hazard.
As Pulisic effortlessly cut inside Etienne Capoue to earn Chelsea’s spot kick during Saturday’s 3-0 rout of Watford, short-sighted supporters would be forgiven for thinking their enigmatic Belgian had returned.
ESPN were quick to point out the obvious similarities between the pair, rating Pulisic 8/10 for his Watford performance.
But what can be made of Pulisic’s debut season in English football? Are comparison’s with Hazard fair praise, or a little premature?
Hazard’s debut Chelsea season saw 34 appearances, which included 9 goals and 11 assists. Pulisic’s statistics are similarly impressive, if not more so. This season he has started 16 games, appearing as a substitute four times. So far, he has seven goals and six assists, averaging a goal involvement every 105 minutes.
His stock is certainly rising in the global game, rated as the 9th most valuable left winger in the world by Transfermarkt.
Whilst it is still early in Pulisic’s fledgling Chelsea career, the early signs are good. Chelsea’s season-long transfer ban has forced Lampard to focus on youth, which has given a host of young stars the chance to flourish. Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham have taken to the Premier League with aplomb, and the resulting blend of youth and preexisting experience has clearly aided Pulisic’s personal development.
With only five games of the the 2019/2020 season remaining, what can Chelsea and Pulisic realistically expect to achieve?
Champions League qualification is essential for Lampard’s young side, whose squad will be boosted next season by the additions of Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner. Pulisic could provide the final piece to a deadly triumvirate, as Lampard’s exciting young team try to close the gap on Liverpool and Manchester City.
Whilst his Chelsea teammates doubtlessly possess the steel and tenacity to succeed in future seasons, the young American has all the attributes to become the jewel in Chelsea’s crown.