Owen Hargreaves has claimed Christian Pulisic ‘makes Chelsea a better team’ after his brace helped fire the Blues to a 4-1 victory over Crystal Palace on Saturday.
The 22-year-old has generally struggled for regular starts under Thomas Tuchel – the man who handed him his professional debut at Borussia Dortmund in 2016 – but now has three goals in his last three games across all competitions.
Pulisic notched in the 5-2 defeat to West Brom last weekend before coming off at half-time due to a hamstring issue and was on target twice against Palace as Chelsea moved back into the top-four places.
Following his impressive form towards the end of last season, the winger has had trouble maintaining his fitness levels in the current campaign and faced stiff competition in Timo Werner, Hakim Ziyech, Mason Mount and Callum Hudson-Odoi for his place in the side.
But given that he has the ability to have a decisive impact in the final third, Hargreaves feels he makes the team better and will now be hard to displace in Tuchel’s side.
‘Maybe he wasn’t playing his best or training the best but today he played like a top player,’ the former Manchester United and England midfielder told Premier League Productions.
I think he’s the type of player that in [attacking] areas he can make the difference. I think he just makes Chelsea a better team when he plays.
‘Football is always what have you done for me lately, especially [when] the new manager comes in and you’ve got to do the work,’ Hargreaves added.
‘If you’re not training great or not putting up the numbers that you need then the manager’s going to pick somebody else.
Especially in a club like Chelsea where you’ve got Mason Mount, Ziyech, Hudson-Odoi and Timo Werner all these guys, the boys have to be at their sharpest.
‘You see that with Pep [Guardiola] as well, when you play you’ve got to play well and if you do you stay in.
For Pulisic now, it’ll be hard to get him out of the side.