Game-changer Pulisic could take Tuchel’s Chelsea to a different level


hristian Pulisic has a way of timing his runs. Not just into the box – but over a campaign. 

And after hitting a hot steak to help fire Chelsea into the Champions League last season, he is threatening to do the same again. 

Long-term, the key is to reproduce this kind of form over an entire campaign. To prove he can shake off the muscle and hamstring problems that have troubled him – and live up to the reputation that convinced Chelsea he could help fill the void left by Eden Hazard

In the short-term, if he can provide the contribution he has over the past week between now and the end of the season, he will add a thrilling new dimension to Thomas Tuchel’s attack. 

A goal against West Brom last week was followed by two in this 4-1 win against Crystal Palace. 

In between, he was millimetres away from finding the back of the net as a late substitute against Porto midweek when hitting the woodwork with a vicious drive. 

This is what the American can do when in full flight.

He can hypnotise defenders with his dribbles and catch out opponents when playing off the shoulders of full backs.

But a less heralded quality is the timing of his runs and his movement in and around the six-yard box. 

The way he darts to the near post is like a classic No9. It is something Chelsea have lacked this season, something Timo Werner has not been able to provide often enough. 

His finishing, meanwhile is explosive – as his first half goal proved – firing high into the near post corner. 

Pulisic’s form upon the resumption of last season’s Covid-disrupted campaign was vital during the run-in.  

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