Christian Pulisic Is Taking Over
Christian Pulisic has quickly gone from coming off the bench to being arguably his team's best player.
In the process, he's making his case as the best American soccer player in the world.
On Tuesday, Pulisic scored for a third time in six games since the EPL restarted last month, in Chelsea's 3-2 win over Crystal Palace.
The 21-year-old phenom has helped keep Chelsea's hopes of making the Champions League alive, as the Blues sit in third place in the EPL thanks to a 5-1 record since play resumed.
And Pulisic has received glowing praise across the soccer world for his outstanding play, starting with Chelsea manager Frank Lampard.
"He's moved his game on another level not just in how he's going by people but real end product. Look around at the top attacking players in the world, they score goals, they score goals regularly to win games, and at the moment he's doing that, so I'm delighted with him."
In 21 appearances this season, Pulisic has contributed on 10 goals, scoring eight. Chelsea has been victorious in all 10 of those games in which Pulisic was involved in a goal.
Only five of those appearances have been starts, all coming since the EPL's return.
With four games still remaining this season, Pulisic has already scored as many goals as he had combined over his past two seasons in Germany’s Bundesliga professional soccer league. His eight goals have him tied for 24th in the EPL.
Pulisic is rewarding Chelsea's faith in him after the club agreed to pay a $73.1 million transfer fee to acquire him from Borussia Dortmund of the Bundesliga league. It was the largest transfer fee ever paid by a professional team to land an American soccer player.
"At this moment, Christian Pulisic is arguably the best player on Chelsea and one of the best players in the EPL," said FOX Sports soccer analyst Alexi Lalas. "He's not a great American player. He's simply a great player who happens to be American.
"Over the past week, we are confirming what many people feel: that this is the best American player playing today."
Pulisic made his European soccer debut for Borussia Dortmund in 2016 at age 17. He became the youngest non-German to score a goal in the Bundesliga that same year, at 17 years and 212 days old.
He has 14 goals in 34 games as a member of the United States Men's National Team and is the youngest player ever to score for the USMNT.
The list of Americans who have had successful playing careers in the English Premier League is rather short. In fact, only eight Americans have totaled more than two goals in EPL play.
Of those eight, only six have scored two or more goals in a single game, with Pulisic being one of them.
Clint Dempsey tops the list of most goals scored by an American in the Premier League, with 57 in 218 career appearances, or a goal every 3.8 games.
Pulisic is already No. 4 on that list with his eight EPL goals in 21 appearances, scoring once every 2.6 games in his young Premier League career.
At that rate, Pulisic would finish with 84 career goals if he were to play in the EPL as long as Dempsey did.
There is still plenty of work for Pulisic to do to reach his lofty potential, of course.
Yet the fact that he's being referred to as one of the best players in the Premier League, and as the greatest American player in the game today, shows what a special talent he already is.