Christian Pulisic Critical to Chelsea Creativity in Attack


By Caleb Thompson

As the clock hit the 60 minute mark in Chelsea and Liverpool’s second Premier League game in 2019-20, something just didn’t seem right. Maybe it was the lack of fans chanting “Allez, Allez, Allez” celebrating the day that Liverpool would finally lift the trophy, or it was the fact that team captain Jordan Henderson who has been so instrumental for Liverpool’s title winning season that he won the FWA Player of the Year Award.

More likely it was the omission of Christian Pulisic, who has re-ignited Chelsea’s attacking creativity throughout the season. “Where is he?” asked Chelsea fans around the globe. Chelsea were on their knees in front of the title winners, down three goals, looking offensively futile and defensively shambolic.

Enter “Captain America” who although he couldn’t halt Liverpool’s danger and dominance moving forward, sparked a vigorous threat on the attack which threatened one of the world’s best defenses and nearly resulted in Chelsea scraping a point from the affair. Instead it just wasn’t meant to be as Liverpool ran away with a 5-3 win at the end of proceedings, with Pulisic picking up a goal and an assist, despite only coming on in the 59′.

This electrifying encounter showed that when Pulisic comes onto the field, Chelsea’s attacking force is transformed immediately. The team looks livelier, expressive and dangerous. And with hugely formidable players like Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner coming into the team next season, Chelsea’s attacking force is shaping up to be a lethal combination, one which will be sure to bang in goals on the regular. 

Pulisic’s form can not be understated, and with Havertz seeming like he already has a foot in the door, is Chelsea going to have an overflow of attacking players? Will players like Callum Hudson-Odoi and Willian possibly be left out of Frank Lampard’s plans in favour of the new guns coming in? Although Lampard will be pleased with the range of options, and it’s always good to have competition for places, he’ll still have a headache when it comes to team selection decisions.

This has by no means been a prolific season for Pulisic, as he was left out of Lampard’s ideal team when he first arrived at the club. Then he had a nasty adductor injury which have kept him out of the team for sustained periods of time. Yet he still made his way into the Spreadex, a financial services and sports betting firm, season-long player performance stats rankings. Pulisic grabbed the last slot at #100.

With four goals and four assists since the Premier League restarted, he has cemented his status as an important attacking player, and helped Chelsea grasp European qualification. His form has been on par with some of the best in Europe and he’s conveyed how one day he might be known as the best football player America has ever seen.

The impact that Pulisic has had on the Chelsea team has been evident, and although Frank Lampard has coined the 21-year-old as a “work in progress,” he has already shown that he’s productive and efficient on an international level. All the Eden Hazard comparisons exist for a reason. The next season will be a big one for Pulisic as he seeks to prove that he isn’t just a “one-season wonder,” but instead someone who will give Chelsea world class form for many years to come

FA Cup Final FYIs

Kickoff: Aug. 1, Wembley Stadium, 5:30 pm

Team News:   Arsenal    Chelsea

Starting XI Predictions:   Arsenal     Chelsea

Head to Head: Arsenal wins  76   Draws 59   Chelsea wins 65

TV/Stream: Sky Sports/Sky Go (UK)   None/ESPN+ (U.S.)

Odds:  Arsenal win  5/2  Chelsea win 5/4

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