With Chelsea facing uncertainty in the summer transfer window, an unstable playing squad and insecurity over the manager’s job; the next two to ten months are vital in the history of the club. Rumours of the club being sold after planning for a new stadium got suspended makes for uncertainty around the whole club. Some form of on-pitch excitement however, is the perfect tonic to any behind-the-scenes distractions; this statistical analysis proves how Callum Hudson-Odoi and Christian Pulisic could provide just that.
The signing of Christian Pulisic from Borussia Dortmund makes a world of difference considering the transfer ban and Hazard’s future. The American recently stated that he would be comfortable taking up the left-wing position when he joins up with Chelsea next season; an indication that Chelsea do not necessarily have to invest in the left wing should Hazard depart.
Pulisic mostly starts games from the bench this season, due to the emergence of Jadon Sancho and Marco Reus staying fit. Notwithstanding, he has notched five goals and three assists from 14 starts in all competitions. These are not world class statistics but he is only 20 years old and on course to fulfil his early-career promise.
The soon-to-be England international has dazzled this season and leaves fans wondering what might have been if he were a regular starter in the league. The inconsistent form of Willian and Pedro, who yet start all the games, makes his exclusion all the more absurd. Maurizio Sarri says he should not be rushed and put under too much pressure (and hype) from the media and fans. Understandably so, but by next season Hudson-Odoi is set to get his fair chances and a link-up with Pulisic, with or without Hazard, promises exciting times.
In his 17 total appearances in all competitions, Callum Hudson-Odoi boasts five goals and four assists. He demonstrates a keen eye for goal and his showings suggest bigger numbers if given more playing time.
How do Pulisic and Hudson-Odoi compare?
Both forwards bare similarities in style of play; their low centre of gravity allows them to dribble with pace and change direction at will, drawing fouls from opponents.
In the graphic above, which takes statistics from the 2016/17 Bundesliga season when Pulisic was an 18-year-old and Hudson-Odoi’s substantial Europa League minutes this current season; Hudson-Odoi edges the goal-scoring four to three whilst Pulisic had six assists to two from Hudson-Odoi so far. CHO also bests the shots per game (1.8-1.1), key passes (1.9-0.9) and dribbles per game metrics 3.8 (79%) to 1.9 (54%).
Hudson-Odoi makes 27.6 passes per game to Pulisic’s 18.2, but the American had almost four times more minutes against tougher opponents. Pulisic had 73.2% pass success to 89.6% by CHO, who also makes more crosses (0.6-0.2), long (1.1-0.4) and through passes.
Pulisic made more tackles 0.9 to 0.8 (66.7%) and interceptions per game 0.6 to 0.1, which shows his suitability to a high-pressing game. Although CHO commits lesser fouls (0.6 to 0.8), he wins more duels 5.9 (63%) to Pulisic’s 4.6 (47%).
Despite all the seeming negativity and uncertainty surrounding the club, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Christian Pulisic are set to thrill. CHO is dynamic and forward-thinking whilst Pulisic is more technical and his experience in a high-pressing system is vital; they would complement one another or Eden Hazard whatever happens in the summer to add a dimension to the attack. Their numbers could only improve next season which is to Chelsea’s benefit.
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