Christian Pulisic can take Chelsea to the next level in the Premier League.
According to the Guardian, Chelsea have complemented the signing of Borussia Dortmund and United States winger Christian Pulisic for a fee of £58million.
The 20-year-old will be loaned back to Dortmund for the remainder of the season and will join Chelsea at the beginning of the 2019-20 season.
Pulisic, who has developed into one of Europe’s most sought-after young players at Dortmund, refused to sign a new deal with his current contract set to expire in 18 months and German outfit couldn’t resist when Chelsea came calling with a lucrative offer.
The signing of Pulisic should come as a pleasant surprise to all the Chelsea fans around the globe as the Blues have managed to land one of the best young talents in Europe amidst interest from several top clubs. It is a no-brainer that someone like Pulisic can take the club to greater heights not only in the Premier League but also in the Champions League in due course of time.
Well, those who believe that the signing of Pulisic means that Chelsea are preparing for life without Eden Hazard, are in a state of delusion. In all honesty, someone like Pulisic can never be a like-for-like replacement for Hazard. Nabil Fekir, for that matter, would have been a better buy but a player like Pulisic proclaims his value not as a replacement for Hazard but with his own repertoire of skills.
Now, the big question is, what can a player like Christian Pulisic bring into this current Chelsea team? Well, if the first 20 games of this season are anything to go by, then it won’t require a rocket scientist to figure out that the Blues have lacked creativity in the final third. Sarri’s well-organised possession-based football has allowed Chelsea to dominate the proceedings in the midfield but their chance creation in the final third has left a lot to be desired.
That is exactly where a player like Pulisic fits the bill. Although he has been termed as a winger, the American is not an out-and-out winger by any stretch of the imagination. He does not have the pace to wreak havoc through defences neither can he be labelled as a goal machine who can rack up 20 goals in a season.
However, he is someone who is blessed with an excellent technique and boasts of an intelligent footballing mind, something which is rare to see at such a young age. He makes up for his lack of lightning pace with his agility, sharpness, vision, flawless passing and tactical awareness.
Pulisic likes to play between the lines and exploit those half-spaces between the full-backs and centre-backs. The youngster knows exactly how to work the channels in the final third to create chances and keeps probing away with short and accurate passes. Another thing that Chelsea should be excited about is his ability to draw the defenders out from their positions with his nimble footwork and movement off the ball, traits that are a sine qua non for Sarri’s system.
Pacy wingers who like to play direct and individualistic football are not likely to excel under Maurizio Sarri. On the contrary, Pulisic is someone who likes to keep the ball at his feet and can spark that creativity in the final third with his well-rounded game.
Pulisic might not bring in a whole lot of goals to the team but he can work in tandems with the likes of Hazard, Willian and Pedro to create more chances.
In other words, Pulisic’s ability to effectively plug that hole behind the striker can do a world of good to Chelsea’s attack. The Blues need more incisive passing in the final third to make frequent penetrations into the opposition’s box and Pulisic’s presence will certainly help them in that regard.
However, something that should be kept in mind here is that Chelsea still need a prolific centre-forward in the future to challenge for silverware. The signing of the highly-rated Christian Pulisic is a step in the right direction and will definitely add tooth and substance to Chelsea’s rather blunt attack but a long-term replacement for Morata is still needed if the Blues are to establish themselves as a formidable force on both the domestic and European front.