Pulisic so far for Chelsea this season has been average and it is frustrating to see, with Lampard opting for Willian, Pedro and even Mount on the wing instead. The return of Callum Hudson-Odoi might even put Pulisic down the pecking order as the 4th choice winger. Besides all of this, he needs time. He needs time to adapt to a new league and team. Many Chelsea fans in my opinion seem to forget that Pulisic is still young and patience will be needed for him to make his mark at Chelsea. Without question, Pulisic is an extremely gifted and talented footballer with a great mindset and is hungry to succeed. In this article, I will explain how Pulisic can be key and what he can offer for Chelsea.
Pulisic in his limited time at Chelsea so far has contributed 2 assists. Compared to Willian who only has one goal and Pedro who has zero contributions this season. It may not seem like a huge impact but compared to Pedro and Willian who are picked ahead of him, Pulisic is definitely more effective for Chelsea.
Many people seem to only rely on direct contributions as a form of evaluation however I believe Pulisic offers more than this. Pulisic is the type of player to drop deep and receive the ball with his feet. By dropping deep to receive the ball, he creates space behind him for the striker or an overlapping fullback to exploit. This sort of play already has and can create key scoring opportunities for Chelsea. With Reece James potentially replacing Azpilicueta soon, this can be an effective way for Chelsea to attack. Reece James’s crossing is phenomenal as we know and with Pulisic dropping deep, this will allow James to overlap to put in a dangerous ball in the box.
With Chelsea playing attacking and high pressing football, Pulisic’s fast feet and acceleration can be key this season. His acceleration can help him drive into space and find players, offer dangerous runs for midfield to pick him out and press defenders. In counter attacks, Pulisic without a doubt can be extremely dangerous as seen in pre-season.
Another way Pulisic can be key for Chelsea this season is being used as a super sub. Pulisic is a player who is extremely pacy off the ball and with the ball. Bringing him on in the game with 30 minutes left when defenders are exhausted can be extremely scary for opponents. Especially when Chelsea are losing, Pulisic will cause serious trouble against exhausted defenders and help Chelsea score.
Champions League Experience
Pulisic has something that is hard to find among players his age and that’s his experience in the Champions League. At the age of 21, Pulisic has already appeared in the Champions league 28 times. With Chelsea playing in Europe’s elite competition this season with a somewhat inexperienced squad, Pulisic’s experience can be vital. He already knows what it’s like to play in it and can offer Lampard’s Chelsea experience, which is definitely important in a tournament such as the Champions League.
We know that Pulisic needs time to adapt right now and may not always start. However with Chelsea having four competitions to compete in, Lampard should be starting Pulisic in the Carabao cup and the FA Cup. Against weaker sides in these tournaments, it can give a chance for Pulisic to flourish and gain confidence in himself. Not only that but he needs more playing time right now in order to adapt and gel into the Chelsea side.
We all know that during Pulisic’s time at Dortmund, his partnership with Michy Batshuayi was an exciting duo to watch in the Bundesliga. During their partnership, Pulisic provided Batshuayi with three assists in their short spell together. The duo showed exceptional linkup and creativity which can offer Lampard player and tactical flexibility throughout the season. Pulisic’s pace and creativity linking up with Batshuayi’s goal poaching instinct, this can be a route for Lampard to explore.
Pulisic may not be performing well for Chelsea at the moment but this should not be a reflection of the player he is. His performance against Liverpool in the Super Cup shows the player that he can become for Chelsea. He needs time to adapt to a new league and environment. Patience is needed in order for him to thrive here. Pulisic is only 21 and has a long future ahead of him.
Something that excites me right now: is the potential of Callum Hudson Odoi, Abraham and Pulisic’s partnership in the attack. This front three could possibly be the leading line of attack for Chelsea for years to come and maybe even one of the best in the league.