Is Christian Pulisic the Premier League’s Next Big Thing?

Since the resumption of the English Premier League, Christian Pulisic has been brilliant. He has contributed to Chelsea’s good form, scoring twice and constantly troubling opposition defenders.

Despite a season that has been frustratingly blighted by injuries, Pulisic has been in good form during the games in which he has played. In 19 games, the young midfielder has nine goal contributions, with seven goals and two assists. This is an excellent return for a 21-year-old in his first Premier League season, especially for a team that was so heavily reliant on the excellent Eden Hazard last year.

Having previously impressed in the Bundesliga while at Borussia Dortmund, Pulisic is now showing that he has what it takes to succeed in England’s top league. The USA international’s trickery, turn of pace, agility, and goal-scoring prowess has ingratiated him with the Chelsea faithful and with a full season next year, the rest of the Premier League could see one of the game’s potential future stars.

Now, he has to go out there and prove he has what it takes over a full season.

With the way the Chelsea team is shaping up, there is nothing standing in his way. The likes of Tammy Abraham, Reece James, and Billy Gilmour are all beginning to fulfill their potential. Then, when Mateo Kovacic, N’Golo Kante, and the incoming Timo Werner are added to the pack, Chelsea and Pulisic have the ability to be major contenders in the 2020-21 campaign.

He is by no means the finished article, though. As the Premier League is regarded to be more physical and intense than many of the world’s other top-flights, one area that Pulisic can improve on is his ability to hold off opposition defenders. Due to his slight stature of 5-foot-7 and 137-pounds, he has a tendency to be out-muscled and sometimes dispossessed by his opponents, who regularly tower over him. This links to his decision-making, which at times needs improvement in order for him to utilize the ball to better effect.

However, this will get better with age and Premier League experience. It often feels like the young American is older than he is due to the number of years he has been in the spotlight at both the club and international level. So, as he continues to adapt to English soccer, this side of his game will improve.

When Hazard first arrived at Chelsea, he was similar in terms of age and stature. In his first season at the club, the Belgian managed nine goals in 34 appearances, a stat that has been more than matched by Pulisic in his first season at the club.

During Hazard’s first season in London, Chelsea were reliant on a number of players for output, including current manager Frank Lampard. Again, this is in direct comparison with the current Chelsea crop, who have relied on the likes of Abraham, Mount, and Willian to get the all-important goal contributions.

Hazard, though, went to the next level and quickly became the Blues’ talisman, with the whole team constantly looking to the current Real Madrid player to make the difference. Chelsea fans will be hoping that this is Pulisic’s future and with Willian leaving at the end of the season, they will bank on the idea that this “future” is sooner rather than later.

Having established that he has the capabilities to be an important player for Chelsea, it now remains to be seen whether he can keep this up consistently over a number of seasons.

If he can, we could be seeing the makings of one of the world’s best players over the next couple of years.

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