Manchester United legend and Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville has named Chelsea winger Christian Pulisic as the player he thinks will become the ‘next world star’ in the Premier League, following in the footsteps of the likes of Eden Hazard.
Pulisic replaced Hazard at Chelsea, completing a pre-arranged £58m transfer from Borussia Dortmund last summer.
The American endured a tough start to his debut season in English football, largely as a result of injury, but Neville saw enough during ‘Project Restart’ to suggest that he's on the right track to superstardom.
21-year-old Pulisic is part of a group of young Chelsea forwards that has been boosted further by the summer additions of German duo Timo Werner and Kai Havertz, and Neville, speaking to 90min ahead of Sky Sports' 29th season of live Premier League coverage, feels he has all the tools to reach the very top.
“I think the idea of these young players may have invigorated [Roman] Abramovich and made him feel he can build a young, exciting, world class team of players who are just below the level of world class, who will then go into that category,” Neville explains.
“Pulisic, to me, is the next world star in the Premier League. You saw glimpses of it pre-lockdown and glimpses when he played an international game at Wembley two years ago.
“But I watched him three or four times in the games after lockdown and that was a different level. That is starting to do things on a pitch that Real Madrid and Barcelona would be looking at, thinking, ‘We need him’, like they have done with [Eden] Hazard and other players in the past.
"He’s starting to get to that emergence where you start to think this could really be his season.”
Having recovered from a muscle injury that ruled him out of games in January, February and March, Pulisic returned to action when the Premier League season resumed in June. He did so in incredible form, contributing a total of eight goals and assists in Chelsea’s nine remaining fixtures.
That included a goal and assist against champions Liverpool and Chelsea’s solitary strike in the FA Cup final against Arsenal, a game they would eventually lose 2-1 thanks to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's brace.
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