USMNT star Christian Pulisic has suffered an injury in training and wasn’t available for selection as Chelsea played at London rivals Arsenal on Sunday.
Pulisic, 21, didn’t start against Tottenham or Southampton in Chelsea’s last two games and only came on for the final 25 minutes of the disappointing defeat at home to Saints on Boxing Day.
Chelsea revealed that Pulisic had “felt a hamstring training after the Southampton game and is left out as a precaution” for the trip to Arsenal.
Picking up a hammy injury at this stage of the season is far from ideal as the games keep coming thick and fast in the PL and FA Cup and Pulisic should not be rushed as hamstring issues often take longer than expected to clear up.
Remember: Pulisic has never before had to deal with the festive demands of the Premier League as up to this point in his professional career he would now be taking a few weeks off to recharge the batteries as the Bundesliga has a winter break.
He also didn’t have a proper break over the summer as he played for the USMNT in the Gold Cup and went straight on Chelsea’s preseason tour, so maybe this injury was coming as he’s been pushing hard to be a regular starter for the Blues.
There is no doubt Pulisic is becoming more and more valuable to Chelsea as the recent poor displays and defeats add up, but if Frank Lampard continues to persist with this 3-4-3 system he may not start many games in the near future as there doesn’t seem to be a slot for him, unless he plays in a more central role.
We all know Pulisic is better starting out wide and drifting inside but with Lampard going for wing backs in big games against Spurs and Arsenal, and also starting with that formation before ditching it at half time against Southampton, it will be intriguing to see how much game time Pulisic does get in the second half of the season at Chelsea.
After his hot streak in October and November he’s cooled down a little and doesn’t have any goals or assists in his last six outings for the Blues. Chelsea need him to regain fitness and form soon as their top four hopes are in need of a big boost.