Without a doubt, Chelsea’s cadre of wingers certainly needs refreshing. Alongside Eden Hazard, 30-year-old Willian and 31-year-old Pedro dominate the starting s[aces at Stamford Bridge, with the likes of Victor Moses and the currently unproven Callum Hudson-Odoi waiting in the wings (so to speak).
Both Willian and Pedro have struggled with inconsistency in recent months, prompting many to call for the club to either commit to Hudson-Odoi’s development or bring in some new talent. The club have chosen the latter, dipping into the transfer market and securing a £57m deal to bring in Borussia Dortmund’s Christian Pulisic next summer.
That was a mistake.
With just 18 months remaining on his ?Dortmund contract, that price tag is certainly high. In their ?official announcement of the deal, Dortmund describe ?Chelsea‘s offer as ‘extremely lucrative’, which just feels like rubbing salt in the wound.
Realistically, in today’s inflated market, £57m is nothing too surprising. ?Ousmane Dembele left Dortmund for ?Barcelona in a deal which could cost the Catalan giants around £130m. However, the Frenchman was in good form at the time of his move. Pulisic certainly is not.
The 20-year-old looks to have been left behind in Dortmund’s ascent to the top of the ?Bundesliga. He has just three goals and four assists from 18 appearances, and has only started one league game since September.
With fellow youngsters Jadon Sancho and Jacob Bruun Larsen impressing in the starting lineup, the onus has been on Pulisic to prove why he deserves his place back in the team. After three months of watching his teammates excel, Pulisic was given a chance to impress as he was finally afforded another start against a struggling Fortuna Dusseldorf side, and he blew it.
The American offered nothing as Dortmund slumped to a shocking defeat – their first of the season – and Pulisic soon found himself back on the bench.
In his 115 appearances for Dortmund, Pulisic has just 15 goals, which is by no means an awful tally, but it certainly is not an elite record. He is simply not consistent enough to be heavily relied upon, and that’s where his move to Chelsea becomes concerning.
Should ?Eden Hazard leave the club, is Pulisic the right man to replace the Belgian? He has shown glimpses of his potential, but nothing close to Hazard. If the plan was to sign Pulisic as a signal of intent to Hazard, will he be impressed by a man who boasts a similar scoring record to ?Marcos Alonso?
The likes of Bertrand Traore, Nicholas Pepe, Hirving Lozano and Thorgan Hazard could have all been available at significantly lower prices, but Chelsea have taken a gamble on the inconsistent Pulisic.
Given his expensive price tag, he will likely be afforded a regular part in the Chelsea team, which could spell the end for young Hudson-Odoi, who is being pursued by the likes of Dortmund and ?Bayern Munich. Why would he want to stay with a club who are clearly not prepared to commit to him?
Alarm bells should be ringing for Chelsea fans. Another expensive flop is not what the club needs, and supporters will be praying that this does not turn out as such.