Report: Eden Hazard successor at Chelsea urges not to become another EPL talent lost to injury
Christian Pulisic was Eden Hazard’s £60m replacement at Chelsea and, for a brief moment
The American looked like he was set to step into the Blues legend’s shoes
Hazard was Chelsea’s big-game player and in August 2020, Pulisic had taken over that mantle.
Five minutes into the FA Cup final with Arsenal at Wembley, the American jinked past a couple of defenders to put the Blues in front.
It was Pulisic’s fourth goal in nine matches, his 11th in his debut season at Chelsea.
There was a new hero at Stamford Bridge, but then a cruel twist of fate struck.
Having just come back from six months out with an adductor problem
Pulisic was running through on goal in the second half – with the scores tied at 1-1 – when his calf gave way. His cup final was over.
That moment could summarise Pulisic’s two years in west London so far
Plenty of promise and quality, until the next injury comes along.
The 23-year-old has suffered 11 injuries since he arrived at Stamford Bridge back in the summer of 2019
Spending an accumulative total of 342 days on the treatment table.
Pulisic has missed a total of 41 Chelsea games since then – more than the length of an entire Premier League season.
No wonder Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel sympathises with a player who just cannot catch a break.
‘Once these players with quick movements like Christian’ Tuchel said when providing an update on the American’s fitness last week
‘Once they feel this pain and they are not free in the movement the recovery is not happening,’
‘You start all over again and you reach a certain point and the pain comes back”
“And you have to do a little pause and start all over again.
‘So right now we are very, very close. He was so close to coming to team training last week and had a little setback and reaction, with pain. Nothing serious. From there on we go.
‘He is very impatient, of course, and he does everything and we can see him suffer in every meeting,’
he added. ‘And every time we meet him here (at training) he is really suffering and wants to be on the pitch and help us.
Everybody is doing their very best. Unfortunately the injury takes its time.’
Pulisic was signed by Chelsea when Maurizio Sarri was manager
Though Frank Lampard was hired by the time the American arrived on west London soil
Before the English boss was then replaced by Tuchel in the winger’s second season at the Blues.
Both Lampard and Tuchel have rated Pulisic highly:
the former handed Hazard’s old No 10 shirt to Pulisic straight after the Arsenal cup final setback
while Tuchel knew the winger at Borussia Dortmund and made him a key player last term.
The German head coach arrived in west London in February of this year and Pulisic was Chelsea’s key man come April.
Back-to-back goals against West Brom and Crystal Palace helped the American’s cause, as did a goal in Chelsea’s Champions League semi-final tie at Real Madrid.
Pulisic started all but one of Chelsea’s final ten Premier League games of the season as they secured a top-four finish
While the winger was on the field when the Blues won their second Champions League title against Manchester City in Porto.
Better things were expected this season and Pulisic knew that.
The American told Chelsea’s official website that ‘staying healthy was a big goal of mine’ – but that goal lasted just two matches.
Pulisic started Chelsea’s UEFA Super Cup win over Villarreal
Then played and scored in the Blues’ opening Premier League match of the season against Crystal Palace
But has not been seen since following a coronavirus diagnosis and an ankle issue.
Both Pulisic and Tuchel know that his time at Chelsea is far from over
Even though the Blues’ squad depth makes the American’s absence just a minor blow.
But another setback for the 23-year-old and questions will be asked about whether Pulisic is the latest Premier League hotshot to have a career plagued by injuries.