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Why Pulisic Will Be World Class At Chelsea

Who would have ever known that the 20-year-old kid from Hershey Pennsylvania will be bought for a record-breaking 73m by one of the...

Who would have ever known that the 20-year-old kid from Hershey Pennsylvania will be bought for a record-breaking 73m by one of the biggest clubs in the world? The most expensive American player of all time. Imagine being 16 years old and leaving all your family & friends to try and make it as a successful pro footballer in Europe? It simply takes some true character to make a major life change like that. This matureness that Christian Pulisic showed in such a young age proves to me he obtains the unique mindset to succeed at the top level of football. There are multiple reasons why Chelsea transferred in Christian Pulisic; with the most important reason being he is a quality young prospect with a beneficial future at the club. One of the most promising parts of Lampard being appointed as manager of Chelsea is the commitment the club is showing by bringing in a long-term coach. This is almost a way of the club accepting the rebuild process while still being able to compete with a young talented squad and management staff. Lampard is looking for players exactly like Christian to build and grow together. Understanding the combination of his football IQ and talent, I think Christian has a long future at Chelsea football club and will serve a crucial role in changing the stereotype of American footballers.

With the unfortunate departure of Eden Hazard this past summer and Christian just being bought, a percentage of the fan base obtained this wishful thinking of Pulisic coming onto the scene and essentially filling Hazard’s boots. This would mean he’d arrive in London requiring very little transitioning to perform at the highest level of football. Sort of like Hazard did at the same age. Trying to compare Hazard when he was 21 at Chelsea with Pulisic being 21 here really isn’t fair for multiple reasons. Hazard had multiple world-class players to play around at the club which was a huge benefit to his success especially early on. He was able to be mentored by the Lampards, Terrys, Drogbas, Coles, etc. This is massive when you’re a young growing talent in a highly competitive league. Current day Chelsea are still working on finding their true identity within the character of their squad which will develop with time. Pulisic is now put in a developmental situation where it’s more of a long-term project with Frank Lampard’s Chelsea. Hazard played only under experienced short-term managers when the club was expecting instant success. Pulisic is now a good player to have because he isn’t only young but has underrated experience people truly overlook. Having 1,365 Champions League minutes under his belt with 16 starts is not shabby for a 21-year-old American lad coming from the respectable Borussia Dortmund. All while having experience on the international level as well. 34 appearances with 14 goals for the USA men’s national team represented as their number 10 kit. 

Pulisic has been being utilized during his time at Chelsea mostly in the wing role but will be employed at times as the number 10. When lining up in any 4-3-3 alternative, I believe he is most efficient on the wing in a more advanced position. So far with Chelsea, he’s mostly been playing winger and with the current personnel, they have in the midfield at Chelsea that makes the most sense. I believe when playing in a 4-2-3-1 is when it can be appropriate to utiliSe Pulisic in the attacking midfielder/second striker role- which I can see this happening at times next season. He shows determination within his work rate off the ball and certainly has the legs. This shows me he will adapt to the league’s physicality fairly well. As far as dribbling, that’s where he will be most important for Chelsea in attack. He’s going to be able to occupy multiple defenders at times which will open up opportunities for him to find open players when teams are playing a deep block against us. When Chelsea are both defending and in open games is when Pulisic will be utilised in their transition play mostly in their counter-attacking play. This is when he will be similar to a Hazard type player. He is definitely an exceptional dribbler. 

After a brief substitution appearance at Manchester United first game of the season, Pulisic went on to start in the next two league matches while assisting Mason Mount in one of them. This was a 3-2 dramatic win against Norwich City at Carrow Road to provide Frank Lampard with his first managerial win in the English Premier League with Chelsea football club. The interesting aspect of Christian’s productivity is, for the most part, the goals or assists he’s producing are usually in big crucial moments when Chelsea need it most so far. One example is his assist to Michy in the final minutes of Chelsea’s win against Ajax. Another example would be his most unexpected world-class hattrick performance against Burnley on the weekend 3 days after the Ajax match. He then went onto to score our second goal in Chelsea’s 2-1 victory at Vicarage Road against Watford. 

Do I think Pulisic will have a successful career at this club? I honestly see him at this club for a long time because Chelsea have a project building right now and he’s part of it. He will grow with the club to eventually form the world-class pedigree that Chelsea is known to have in recent years. He is here to win trophies and we all know that is the Chelsea way. Next year I see Christian serving a bigger role in Chelsea’s squad and there will be some healthy competition for the preferred left-wing role next year on Chelsea between Hudson-Odoi and Pulisic. The only way I say both players starting is by implementing a 4-2-3-1: where the 3 attacking midfielders are CHO-Pulisic (10)-Ziyech. Nonetheless, it will be an exciting year for both Christian Pulisic and Chelsea football club, but most importantly let’s finish this season off strong with the goal we all originally had from the start of August… Minimally a crucial top 4 finish depending on what happens with the rest of this season!

Written by - @JRcentre
Edit by - @KristenPulisic

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