Christian Pulisic isn’t happy at Chelsea and faces make or break month at Blues

Forget Antonio Rudiger's contract dispute and Romelu Lukaku's fitness. The burning question at Chelsea is what next for Christian Pulisic.

Captain America has been anything but a superhero at Stamford Bridge for a long time now and £57.6m players can't end up warming the bench forever.

Pulisic started the season with a goal in Chelsea's Premier League opener against Crystal Palace, a comfortable 3-0 win.

But then he caught Covid, and missed 12 games in all competitions after injuring his ankle on international duty.

Pulisic is not happy. He was brought in to replace Eden Hazard at Chelsea and it just hasn't worked out for him.

He started only 18 league games last season and featured in only the last 24 minutes of their Champions League final win over Manchester City.

The next few weeks are going to be crucial for his Chelsea future, because right now that is up in the air.

Pulisic is still on 23 and remains highly rated at the club. Thomas Tuchel has worked with him before and sees a potential future star in him.

But the most expensive North American player of all time expected to play a much bigger role at Chelsea than he has so far.

And of all the players in Tuchel's squad, he looks like the odd man out.

Chelsea are top of the Premier League and have got there without him. In his absence, Callum Hudson-Odoi, and even fellow misfit Hakim Ziyech, have hit form playing in his position.

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In addition, Pulisic still has Mason Mount, Timo Werner and Kai Havertz ahead of him in the pecking order for a place in the forward line.

Tuchel has showed by successfully finding time this season for the likes of Ross Barkley and Ruben Loftus-Cheek that he really will give everyone a game.

And Chelsea play ten games in just over a month before Christmas, so everyone will be needed over the next few weeks.

But Pulisic plays in a position where competition is at its fiercest at the Bridge, and may not be prepared to accept a bit-part role forever.

He is also still not ready for a full 90 minutes despite two cameos for his national team, and a goal, during the latest international break.

But his situation has not gone unnoticed, with Barcelona among a host of clubs keeping tabs on the former Borussia Dortmund star.

Even if Pulisic demanded one, a January move is highly unlikely because Chelsea are competing on four fronts this season and Tuchel wants a big squad.

But the next four weeks are make or break for his Blues future because if he hasn't found a way back into the team on a consistent basis by then, he likely never will.

Chelsea just have too many forwards, and when Lukaku returns to fitness it will just increase the logjam.

Something has to give eventually, and with Chelsea expected to join the race to sign Erling Haaland next summer, chances in the forward line are likely to be at a premium.

At the start of the season it looked like the Blues would eventually have to say goodbye to one out of Ziyech, Hudson-Odoi and Pulisic.

Right now, Pulisic is the most likely of those three to be looking elsewhere. His Chelsea future is on the line.

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