Christian Pulisic officially joined Chelsea this summer for £58 million. The American international enjoyed three full seasons at Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund where he broke into the first team at the age of 16.
The Chelsea new-boy goes in the 2019-20 season with high expectations and pressure on his shoulders. Chelsea are embarking on life without Eden Hazard, the man who carried them for seven seasons.
Now, the question is, can Christian Pulisic rediscover his form with Chelsea?
Christian Pulisic chance of a lifetime
Pulisic’s signing came out of left field last season. He had found himself on the bench more than ever at the Signal Iduna Park. Manager Lucien Favre favoured English teen Jadon Sancho, who displaced Pulisic from his attacking midfield position.
The American tallied four goals and four assists in 20 Bundesliga appearances. Pulisic tallied just 916 minutes in total averaging 45.8 minutes per match.
Pulisic failed to reach his mark of 5.16 Expected Goals (xG) although he did surpass his Expected Assists (xA) tally of 2.97. In Pulisic’s three full seasons as a member of Borussia Dortmund’s first team, the American failed to surpass his xG marks. All of Pulisic’s goals came within the 18-yard box with two of which being tallied inside the six-yard box.
As expected, Hazard’s numbers in 2018-19 blew Pulisic’s away. But there is hope for Pulisic.
Frank Lampard could save Christian Pulisic
New Chelsea manager Frank Lampard showed a keen ability to work with young players last term. At Derby County, Lampard helped on-loan forward Harry Wilson rise to be one of the most sought-after attacking players in the Championship. Wilson’s 17 goals in 46 matches in all competitions could help him earn a big-money move away from Liverpool or a chance to back-up Mohamed Salah this term.
Lampard’s same tactics and man-management used with Wilson could be the ideal thing to help Pulisic excel at Stamford Bridge.
While Pulisic’s numbers were nowhere near Hazard’s a season ago, they were better than current Chelsea teammate Willian. The Brazilian managed just three goals and two assists in 32 Premier League matches.
Christian Pulisic Fantasy Premier League Effect
It is difficult to say whether Pulisic will have the same kind of impact that Hazard had in Fantasy Premier League. The initial thought is that he will get off to a slow start.
Chelsea could struggle this season as they face a transfer ban. Add in Hazard’s departure and Lampard only in his second-ever year coaching, and it could be an uncomfortable time at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea have changed managers in each of the last two summers. If Lampard gets off to a poor start in the Premier League and Champions League, the club could act swiftly. Chelsea must be patient with Lampard as well as Pulisic.
If they are patient with the new manager and attacking midfielder, Chelsea and FPL managers could reap big rewards.