When Christian Pulisic moved to Chelsea there was already a lot of attention from the United States on how he will do in English football and at Chelsea. The 21-year-old got off to a good start to his Chelsea career showing manager Frank Lampard why the Blues paid a hefty fee to bring him to the club. But, right now he is struggling to get into the Chelsea XI. Now the question is, how does Pulisic get back into Lampard’s side which already possesses a lot of attacking talent?
After sitting out Chelsea’s 5-2 win over Wolves on Saturday, Pulisic would have expected to be called upon for Chelsea in their opening Champions’ League group stage match against Valencia. Instead, the £58 million signing from Borussia Dortmund was again amongst the substitutes and didn’t feature on Tuesday night where he watched his team suffer a 1-0 defeat.
When Pulisic made the move to Stamford Bridge, he already knew that Chelsea had an array of quality in the wide positions where the 21-year-old plays. With the likes of Willian, Pedro and Callum Hudson-Odoi – currently out injured. This would have freed up space in the Chelsea side for Pulisic where he will get a lot of game time, however, this hasn’t been the case. Mason Mount has come onto the scene this season and been one of Chelsea’s outstanding players. His natural position is behind the striker, but in recent weeks, Lampard has tinkered with his formation and has opted to play three at the back where Mount has played off the left-hand side of a front three. The now England international has shown his ability where he’s continued his fine form and he scored in the 5-2 triumph at Wolves.
What now for Christian Pulisic?
Pulisic is a very talented player and his price tag suggests that. He will continue to develop, and he will continue to get better. But that level of development comes down to him as a player where he has to maximize his talent when he is selected.
It comes down to the player overall and he will have to show Lampard in training and even when he is selected to play, he has to take it. With Willian, Pedro, and Hudson-Odoi who is now back in full training and his return in a Chelsea shirt is imminent. Competition for places at Chelsea is tough, when you are given a start, you must take it or you will be out of the team. Strong competition will make the American a better player with the high expectations at Chelsea and let’s all remember it is the beginning of his Chelsea career.
What is Pulisic’s best position?
He is at his very best on either flank, but his most prolific season at Dortmund he was playing on the left in a front three. He has the speed and ability to take people on which resembles a young Eden Hazard. As a winger, he is great at combining with the defensive midfielders to begin an attack, as well as combining with the team’s striker.
At the moment, Pulisic will be happy to play on either side of the Chelsea front three, if it means he gets minutes on the pitch. Although he has been playing on the right-hand side when he has featured in a Chelsea shirt, the question is, what is Hudson-Odoi’s best position? Is it on the left or the right?
Lampard will have a dilemma there’s no question about that on who to pick from as Mount has already proven how crucial he is in the Chelsea side. For Pulisic, it is still unclear if he is a certain starter or even in Lampard’s plans. However, it is the early stages of the season with many matches to be played. Pulisic will be hoping for his season to start now where he gets more game time for his new side.