Pulisic Off to Better Start at Chelsea than Hazard, Says Hasselbaink

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The Christian Pulisic vs Eden Hazard comparisons have been fast and furious ever since Chelsea acquired the American from Borussia Dortmund in January of 2019. With the deal arranging for Pulisic to come over in the summer, and Hazard leaving for Real Madrid in the same transfer window, the two attacking midfielder/wingers never played together at Stamford Bridge.

Instead, Pulisic has often been looked upon as a Hazard replacement, and when the 21-year-old went on a purple patch for the Blues in the restart period, the comps came out in full force once again.

We’ce crunched the numbers, on the Chelsea beginnings for both players, in a previous article here. According to one former Chelsea forward, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, the beginning of the Pulisic era at Chelsea “has been a revelation.”

The 48-year-old Dutchman, who scored 69 (nice) times in 136  appearances for the southwest London club, believes the Pennsylvanian Messi has gotten off to a better start in a blue shirt than the Belgian did.

“Christian Pulisic has been a revelation,” said Hasselbaink telling Gentingbet (h/t Goal).

“If you compare him to when Hazard first came to Chelsea, Pulisic has in my opinion done better. Hazard then went and became an absolutely brilliant star and carried everyone on his shoulders by winning games on his own. Pulisic can be the same – maybe even better.”

While hailing the potential of Pulisic to someday equal, and perhaps even surpass the achievements and heroics of Hazard at Chelsea, Hasselbaink still finds the comparisons unfair, echoing the sentiment of Pulisic on this topic.

“It’s not fair to compare them but Pulisic has done magnificently. I would just like him to be a little bit more clinical in terms of goals. I think he can score more goals.”

Pulisic, who has always maintained that he’s his own man, out to write his own story and not the next Hazard, is currently recovering from a hamstring injury sustained in the FA Cup final. His status is in doubt for the season opener at Brighton on Sept. 14.

He’s also set for a shirt number switch this season, as Hakim Ziyech will wear the No. 22 he sported last season.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net, which is partnered with News NowBanks, the author of “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” regularly contributes to WGN TVSports IllustratedChicago Now and SB Nation.

You can follow Banks, a former writer for Chicago Tribune.comon Twitter and his cat on Instagram.

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