The growing importance of Christian Pulisic at Chelsea, the Blues' Captain America
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The growing importance of Christian Pulisic at Chelsea, the Blues' Captain America

Christian Pulisic's first season in England has not been perfect, but in him, Chelsea have a player ready to replace Eden Hazard, not like-for-like, but the general dependence.

After a difficult start early on in the season when he didn’t start a match of any significance, the winger was thrown into the mix during a Premier League match away to Burnley in October, where he notched a hat-trick and has never looked back. 

An injury on New Years' Day disrupted his progress, but his incredible counterattack goal against Manchester City on Thursday last week was a reminder that he is back to his best shape and form. 

He showed great acceleration, trickery before coolly slotting it past the approaching Ederson.

The above attributes and the ability to finish make him a dangerous weapon going forward and can win games on his own for Chelsea

On Wednesday night, a week after starring against City, the former Borussia Dortmund man was by far the best player on the pitch, winning the penalty and free-kick which led to both of Willian’s goals in Chelsea's 3-2 loss to West Ham.

He was always quick, decisive, and threatening on the ball and put together a near-perfect, all-round performance.

The strike against City was his second in as many games, coming just days after he came up huge for Frank Lampard's side again, equalizing in their eventual 2-1 win over Aston Villa.

Best young player in the Premier League?

In the few matches the American has played, he has always stood out, time and again proving he can be the future of the West London side.

The 21-year-old has seven goals and two assists to his name in 18 Premier League appearances this season, making him one of the best young talents in the top-flight. In fact, he has the most number of Premier League goals for players aged 21 and under, with Manchester United's Mason Greenwood second on the log with 6. 

By the age of 19, he boasted better stats in his career than Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, having played 60 first-team games for Dortmund. Lionel Messi had made only 34 Barcelona appearances; Cristiano Ronaldo, a combined 53 for Sporting and Manchester United.

Strengths and best position

Quick, comfortable on the ball, great vision, and an eye for goal is what defines Pulisic. He also possesses an incredible work rate and a fearless willingness to take on his marker in one-on-one situations. 

It's for this reason that he has been played on wide roles, both at Borussia Dortmund and now at Chelsea. Lampard uses him on the wing, where he cuts inside in a three-man attack as it gives him space to attack better. 

He, however, takes up a different role for the Stars and Stripes of the USA, where he plays as a number 10 and has equally flourished. 

With Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner arriving ahead of next season, Pulisic's role might change, but his ability to adapt in any attacking role will be a huge plus for his development and for manager Frank Lampard and the entire Chelsea team.

With one or two more signings, particularly at the back, Chelsea can be among the title contenders next season, and Captain America, as he is fondly referred to, will play a key role for Lampard's team.