Chelsea have a new wide player arriving in the form of Hakim Ziyech but the Blues have another player already in their ranks who can thrive off the Moroccan’s arrival.
Chelsea signed Christian Pulisic in a £58 million move in January 2019 to be their Eden Hazard replacement. The American international would not arrive for another six months, but his role had been cast. Pulisic is a very different player to Hazard, it should be said.
Hazard is a clinical goalscorer with terrific dribbling and a stout and stocky frame. Pulisic is slighter, more nuanced, and does not possess that same killer streak in the final third, but his overarching impact is hoped to be the same: to be a game-changer.
His strong performances have impressed Frank Lampard and his teammates, too.
“I think he has great potential,” Marcos Alonso said to Fox Soccer‘s Stu Holden this week. “Since preseason where he showed in a couple of games the things he is capable of, he looks like a great prospect. He has quality, speed, I thought he was going to struggle a bit with the physicality of the Premier League but he has done great.”
Alonso was equally as positive about Pulisic’s prospects. “He missed a little bit of the continuity to show even more and keep improving but I think he’s going to be a great player for Chelsea,” the left-back continued.
“Hopefully, with his time off, he’s going to come back stronger from this small injury he had. I hope he can help us score important goals and have assists for many years. With the quality he has, I’m sure he will do.” If Jadon Sancho arrives in the summer alongside Hakim Ziyech, Pulisic will see his opportunities crater. That, of course, would be problematic for his progression.
However, with Ziyech manning the right side, the added space the American would enjoy on the left could unleash his frightening speed and dribbling skills.