Why Christian Pulisic can make the difference for Chelsea and fill the void left by Eden Hazard


Christian Pulisic arrived at Chelsea with lofty expectations and an Eden Hazard shaped hole to fill in their team.

The 20-year-old was snapped up by the Blues in January for £58million but loaned straight back to Borussia Dortmund.

This proved to be a smart bit of business ahead of their transfer ban and Hazard’s departure to Real Madrid.

Christian Pulisic joined Chelsea for £58million

Getty Images – Getty

Christian Pulisic joined Chelsea for £58million

Had they not acted then Frank Lampard would really be in the mire in his first season as manager.

The American international is wary of that comparison with Hazard being made and has already sought to stop them before they even start.

“I’m not trying to fill the gap left by Eden, he was an unbelievable player. I want to be my own player, to look at me like that, do the best I can and perform the best I can for the team,” he told the Daily Telegraph.

Hazard left for Real after starring at Chelsea

Getty – Contributor

Hazard left for Real after starring at Chelsea

“I’m in an attacking position. I want to score goals, I want to help them with assists and do a lot of good things. My work defensively is important too.

“This team has a lot of quality. I can help with it for sure. From a similar position I can mix with these guys well, we can score our goals and do our thing.”

Pulisic has the ability to make the difference for Chelsea and be a match winner.

The 4-0 defeat against Manchester United on Sunday was an early warning sign for Frank Lampard, with Pulisic only making a brief substitute appearance.

He could be set for his first start for the club in their UEFA Super Cup clash with Liverpool on Wednesday, which is live on talkSPORT.

Christian Pulisic impressed in pre-season for Chelsea

Getty Images – Getty

Christian Pulisic impressed in pre-season for Chelsea


The club and their fans will want their new player to hit the ground running and, whether he likes it or not, the comparisons with Hazard will come.

It is unlikely that anyone will expect the same levels the Belgium forward produced last season.

Hazard is 28 and arguably at his peak, with 16 Premier League goals and 15 assists, whereas Pulisic is still just 20 and still improving.

The USA international played far fewer games than Hazard last season but their stats are comparable.

Hazard vs Pulisic in the league

Eden Hazard

  • Games played: 37
  • Minutes played: 2925
  • Goals: 16
  • Assists: 15
  • Mins per goal involvement: 94.35
  • Chances created: 98
  • Chances created per 90mins: 3.02
  • Dribbles attempted: 224
  • Dribbles attempted per 90mins: 6.89
  • Dribbles completed: 138
  • Dribbles completed per 90mins: 4.25
  • Fouls won: 104
  • Fouls won per 90mins: 3.20

Christian Pulisic

  • Games played: 20
  • Minutes played: 923
  • Goals: 4
  • Assists: 4
  • Mins per goal involvement: 115.38
  • Chances created: 19
  • Chances created per 90mins: 1.85
  • Dribbles attempted: 89
  • Dribbles attempted per 90mins: 8.68
  • Dribbles completed: 42
  • Dribbles completed per 90mins: 4.10
  • Fouls won: 26
  • Fouls won per 90mins: 2.54

Pulisic was involved in a goal every 115 minutes whereas Hazard was every 94, with a similar shot conversion rate.

The former Borussia Dortmund player attempted far more dribbles per 90 minutes, with 8.68 compared to 6.89, but completed 4.10 as opposed to the Real Madrid star’s 4.25.

The one area where Pulisic falls behind Hazard is the chances created per 90 minutes at 1.85 compared to 3.02.

Ross Barkley played in an advanced role on the left for Chelsea on Sunday but could not have a huge impact on the game.

Eden Hazard takes time out to play with kids at Chelsea soccer school

He completed just one dribble, had two shots and had a pass success rate of 79 per cent.

That is of course only in one game, in which there were no standout performers for Chelsea, but a player like Pulisic can make a huge difference.

He can run at defenders and cause problems as well as having the ability to both score and create goals.

If you watch the way he can take the ball past a defender with a quick drop of the shoulder and burst of acceleration it is very Hazard like.

The forward’s pace should not be underestimated and is comparable to the Belgium international.

At just 20 he will need time to adapt to the Premier League but do not be surprised if he hits the ground running at Stamford Bridge and early evidence suggests they might need him to.





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