There’s usually that sweet optimism anytime a player joins a new club. From fans, technical team to teammates. When the arrival potentially blocks the development of a bright prospect, however, fans can get really upset. Christian Pulisic’s arrival has sent Blues faithful into a fit over Callum Hudson-Odoi.
Pulisic has blazed a trail at Borussia Dortmund. Jadon Sancho and Brunn Larsen are profiting. However, increased level of competition has had his own skills and ambitions undermined. Pulisic’s progress has obviously stalled in the last six months. The signs of a potential exit surfaced.
Although his current deal set to expire in 2020, a swift departure wasn’t expected. At least not this winter. Chelsea managed to sweet-talk the Pennsylvania native into ditching the BVB project for ‘Sarri Ball’. The Blues parted with £58m (€64m), in a deal which will see the United States player remain at the German club on loan until the end of the current season.
Pulisic appears to be a shrewd addition, especially with Pedro and Willian past their peak. He is very comfortable on the ball, dribbling directly at opponents. He rarely gets dispossessed with a fearless willingness to take on his marker in one-on-one situations. According to Whoscored, the 20-year-old has made the most dribbles in the Bundesliga since the start of last season (90).
The young forward is also influential when it comes to short, quick passes. This allows teammates to create dangerous moments in the final third. He is pacy, with an incredible work rate averaging over 10.2 kilometres per game. Through the middle or either flank, Pulisic is proficient to any position in attack.
But pundits may argue in Hudson-Odoi’s favour. The English youngster is one of Chelsea’s two most promising academy players currently (the other being Ethan Ampadu). Hudson-Odoi dominated at youth levels, showing a great deal of promise in the first team.
The arrival of Pulisic looks to have put the final nail in the coffin of Hudson-Odoi at Chelsea. The highly-rated 18-year-old winger has found playing time hard to come by under Maurizio Sarri this season. The youngster began impressively in the Community Shield but has since played just four Europa League games.
He only made his first Premier League appearance of the season as a substitute on Boxing Day in the win at Watford. The Blues reportedly rejected a recent £20m offer from Bayern Munich for the England Under-19 international.
It remains to be seen whether other clubs will come in for the youngster in the transfer window but with Pulisic not arriving until the summer, Sarri may want to keep him around for the remainder of the season. The two play in a similar position though and Pulisic will surely be ahead of Hudson-Odoi in the pecking order once he does move to west London.
Written by Toby Prince
Follow Toby on Twitter @prinzToby
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