'Pulisic can’t be compared to Hazard - he carried Chelsea!' - USMNT forward still learning, says Burley


Christian Pulisic may be enjoying a stunning run of form at Chelsea but he cannot be compared to Blues legend Eden Hazard because the Belgian "carried one of the biggest teams in the Premier League for a few seasons", says Craig Burley.

Inevitable links are being made between two star turns to have filled a left-sided attacking berth at Stamford Bridge.

When the decision was reluctantly taken to offload Hazard to Real Madrid in the summer of 2019, suitable cover was required to fill sizeable boots in west London.

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Chelsea always hoped that Pulisic would be the man to step up, with the United States international having been lured away from Borussia Dortmund at just 21 years of age.

Time is very much on the American’s side when it comes to following in Hazard’s footsteps, with a flurry of goals since the Premier League restart suggesting that he is ready to become a talisman.

Frank Lampard has, however, been reluctant to start comparing Pulisic and Hazard, with piling such pressure on a player who still has much to learn considered to be both premature and unnecessary.

Burley is another of that mindset, with the former Chelsea midfielder eager to point out that there is a long way to go before a star of the present can claim to have emulated one of the recent past.

He told ESPN FC of the Pulisic praise: "They should take their heads out of the sand.

"Eden Hazard carried Chelsea for a long time, and got his move to Real Madrid.

"He's a multiple league winner, and a hugely talented Belgian international. In the end, he was coveted by arguably the biggest club in the world - Real Madrid.

"It's typical of the rationale - trying to compare people too early. Christian Pulisic is a huge talent, but he's a young man.

"There's no guarantee that come next season with all the new players coming in that he'll get all the game time he needs.

"All he needs is two or three quiet games, and any manager worth his salt will have [Callum] Hudson-Odoi in, or he'll have [Timo] Werner on the left, or Mason Mount.

"I think we need to go slowly with Christian Pulisic, it's a learning curve for him, he's doing great at the moment, but you can't compare him to a player who literally carried one of the biggest teams in the Premier League for a few seasons."

Hazard took in 352 appearances for Chelsea over the course of a seven-year stay, with 110 goals and 92 assists recorded while helping the Blues to two Premier League titles and a couple of Europa League crowns.

Pulisic has nine goals and eight assists to his name this season, with it still possible for him to end his debut campaign in England with an FA Cup winners’ medal.

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