Christian Pulisic has signed for Chelsea in a deal worth £57.7million, the Premier League club have confirmed.
The 20-year-old winger will stay at Borussia Dortmund on loan until the end of the season before linking up with the Blues for the 2019/20 campaign.
The move comes amid uncertainty surrounding the long-term future of Chelsea’s current crop of wingers.
Eden Hazard continues to stall over a new deal as Real Madrid rumours persist, while Pedro and Willian are both in their thirties.
Pulisic has age on his side, but he is yet to fully realise his potential at Dortmund, featuring mainly as an impact sub as head coach Lucien Favre favours the emerging Jadon Sancho.
Here, talkSPORT.com takes a look at his stats compared to Chelsea’s other wingers.
Christian Pulisic 2018/19 league stats
Appearances – 5 (6)
Goals – 1
Assists – 2
Shots per game – 0.6
Key passes per game – 0.8
Dribbles per game – 1.7
Crosses per game – 0.5
Tackles per game – 0.4
WhoScored.com rating – 6.76
An immediately obvious cause for concern is Pulisic’s goal return. One goal in 483 minutes is considerably sub-par, especially considering Dortmund have netted 44 times this season.
This is not due to a lack of game time, either. Last season the United States winger bagged just four league goals in 2313 minutes of football.
Pedro’s goals will need replacing – the Spaniard already has six in the league this season at a rate of one goal every 157 minutes.
Pedro 2018/19 league stats
Appearances – 11 (6)
Goals – 6
Assists – 1
Shots per game – 1.8
Key passes per game – 0.7
Dribbles per game – 1.3
Crosses per game – 0.3
Tackles per game – 0.8
WhoScored.com rating – 7.08
The Spaniard already has more goals this season than he managed in the whole of last and he is arguably Chelsea’s best finisher.
Pedro has made up for the poor goalscoring form of Chelsea’s two strikers – Alvaro Morata and Olivier Giroud – who have just six between them in the league.
Willian 2018/19 league stats
Appearances – 17 (2)
Goals – 2
Assists – 3
Shots per game – 1.9
Key passes per game – 2.5
Dribbles per game – 1.6
Crosses per game – 1.2
Tackles per game – 1.2
WhoScored.com rating – 7.23
While Willian lacks goals and assists, his all-round contribution is superior to Pedro’s, which highlights why he starts almost every game under Maurizio Sarri.
Nonetheless, it also emphasises Chelsea’s reliance on Hazard for direct goal involvement, and Pulisic will have to become more ruthless if he is to address that balance.
Eden Hazard league stats 2018/19
Appearances – 16 (3)
Goals – 10
Assists – 9
Shots per game – 2.7
Key passes per game – 2.8
Dribbles per game – 2.9
Crosses per game – 0.8
Tackles per game – 0.4
WhoScored.com rating – 7.94
Pulisic has spent most of his career on the right wing, so he does not represent the most natural replacement for Hazard. That role appears more suited to Chelsea’s rising academy star Callum Hudson-Odoi.
Hazard’s sensational form this season comes down to the freedom granted to him by Sarri – no longer is he hindered by added defensive responsibilities.
However, that means more work for the man on the opposite flank. Pedro and Willian are averaging 0.8 and 1.2 tackles per game, while Pulisic is making just 0.4 at Dortmund.
It remains to be seen where the youngster will fit into Chelsea’s system and it’s important to remember that stats never tell the whole story.
This is a player with unlimited potential, but given he struggles to make Dortmund’s starting XI and his stats make for an alarming read – he certainly has plenty to prove as he completes his £57.7million move to Stamford Bridge.