Thomas Tuchel tactics ‘don’t suit’ exciting Chelsea star who thrived under Frank Lampard

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Thomas Tuchel’s tactics and constant chopping and changing of his Chelsea front three don’t suit the “brilliant” Christian Pulisic reckon ESPN FC duo Steve Nicol and Don Hutchison, with the American yet to impress under the German coach.

Pulisic has yet to start in the Premier League under Tuchel, who he worked under at Borussia Dortmund earlier in their careers.

The 22-year-old’s entire season has been interrupted by injuries and from 23 appearances he has only contributed two goals and one assist, compared to 11 goals and 10 assists in 34 games last year.

The USA international was a star turn under Tuchel’s predecessor Frank Lampard and was one of the Premier League’s finest performers post-lockdown last term.

But Liverpool legend Nicol feels that Pulisic, who cost £58million when he joined two years ago, is going to need a run of starts under Tuchel to find his feet again.

“A lot of it is circumstance and injury,” the former defender said on ESPN FC. “He goes to Chelsea and then Frank comes in and he has to prove himself and does prove himself.

“There was one stage with Frank where it was Pulisic and who else up front, then he does his hamstring and he has another long battle to get fit again.

“By the time he’s fit Frank gets the bullet and Tuchel comes in. He’s kind of having to start all over again all of the time.

“He has to get a run of games and if there’s one thing Tuchel’s shown us it’s that he’s going to make changes in the front three all the time. That doesn’t suit Pulisic.

“He was in a position where he was first on the team sheet because Frank gave him a run of games.

“Unless he gets a run of games you wonder if he’s going to get himself to the position that he once was there. I’d certainly say it’s not time to go yet but it may be coming soon.”

Hutchison believes Tuchel’s tactics, having utilised a three-at-the-back system with wing-backs rather than the 4-3-3 with wingers used by Lampard, don’t play to the attacker’s strengths.

He said: “It’s a real bizarre one. I thought Tuchel would’ve played him a lot unless he’s trying to manage his fitness, he’s had a few knocks of late.

“I don’t think the system suits getting him into Chelsea’s eleven if they’re going to play wing-backs, there’s no real space for him.

“The trouble is it’s all about timing. If you’re going to knock on the door and maybe ask for a transfer away from Chelsea, you’ve got to make sure you speak to your agent first and figure out where your destination is going to be.

“I would find it highly unlikely the Spanish giants would touch him at the moment, there’s probably nowhere in England that Pulisic goes that’s better than Chelsea.

“The only place I can maybe see him next season is somewhere like Juve who certainly need a revamp and need some speed into their team.

“There’s very few teams who would probably touch him and I say that loosely because he’s a brilliant player.”

Despite the duo’s comments, Tuchel declared last month that his former Dortmund wonderkid can still be a significant part of his plans at Stamford Bridge.

The Blues manager said: “Chelsea bought Christian for a reason – his quality and potential – and it is our job to get the best out of him.

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“He has proved in many weeks he has the level to be a regular Chelsea player. It is the challenge now to improve and hold his level and to maintain the level, keep improving.

“The main thing for Christian is to stay positive, keep his head up and be ready as he can have a big impact when he starts or off the bench with his intensity.

“There are absolutely no decisions made for summer, there is simply not time for that.”

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