In the handful of matches completed since the restart of the Premier League, Christian Pulisic has been Chelsea’s most in-form player. He started the Project Restart campaign with two goals in two matches. He’s now won two penalties in two consecutive matches.
The confidence with which Pulisic is playing at the moment is exhilarating. He had a patch of good form earlier in the season as well, including his perfect hat trick against Burnley, but injuries had slowed his integration with the team and disrupted his chances of consistent minutes. After coming down with an adductor injury on New Year’s Day, Pulisic had been gone from the selection for well over six months.
The time off has seen Pulisic come back fresher than ever. Rest and recovery can do a body a lot of good. It seems apparent that Pulisic spent his time off prepping well for the remaining matches of the season. He looks a bit stronger, perhaps spending time bulking up during the quarantine, while also dancing on TikTok.
Pulisic has quickly become an integral player to Chelsea’s attack — and hopes to securing Champions League football next season. The superlatives from the media and fans are more than warranted for the talented 21-year-old.
Comparisons to Hazard will likely continue to grow as Pulisic’s tenure with Chelsea rolls on. It’s perhaps a bit unfair for Pulisic to have Hazard’s shadow looming over him, but the young American seems to have a positive and humble perspective on Chelsea’s former talisman.
“Obviously he was an incredible player for Chelsea. He’s a world-class player. I’m not trying to compare myself to him just yet. I’m just trying to be my own player and hopefully the fans like that guy.”
-Christian Pulisic, source: NBC Sports
Pulisic has been direct and aggressive on the ball in each match, including today against Watford. His dribbling at defenders, and his display of speed to move through multiple defenders has given strong vibes of Eden Hazard.
His ability to stop on a dime after accelerating past defenders and quickly change directions with fleet footed movement screams as Hazard-esque. Pulisic’s ability on the ball may not be quite up to the level of Hazard at his best, but Pulisic has an aura about him that seems to draw defenders towards him. Today’s second goal came from Pulisic’s ability to win a penalty from a Watford defender’s ill-advised challenge in the box.
Pulisic isn’t just winning penalties at a growing rate with each game, he’s also drawing fouls like Hazard had in his years as a Blue. Hazard had a special ability to bounce back when knocked down from hard challenges. Injuries have been a concern for Pulisic, especially back at Dortmund. As Pulisic becomes a growing key to the Chelsea’s attack, ‘load management’ and maintenance to his health will become paramount to seeing the best out of him.
Pulisic’s manager, Frank Lampard, has continued to share his optimism for Pulisic. Pulisic will likely make Lampard very happy if he can keep up this form consistently through the end of the season and beyond.
“He got to grips with it today quickly and he was playing very well. He got injured at the start of January and he had been injured until the start of the restart but he looks now that he is sharp and hungry. The quality is there for everyone to see at the moment.”
“He is going past players, he is moving at pace and he always works very hard for the team in all senses so I am very happy for him. I think considering his age, what could become of him, I am very very pleased. We have got ourselves a very very good player and he can get even better.”
-Frank Lampard, Source: Football.London
If Chelsea are going to secure Champions League for next season, Chelsea may very well need Pulisic to continue his sizzling performances. May #HotPulisicSummer never end!