Christian Pulisic insists Chelsea are doing just fine without a talismanic figure like Eden Hazard. Pulisic joined Chelsea from Borussia Dortmund in January 2019 but immediately returned to the Bundesliga club on loan.
As the USA international arrived at Stamford Bridge the following summer, Hazard was heading out the exit door to join Real Madrid.
Chelsea have failed to win any silverware since Hazard’s departure but have two chances to put that right this season.
Thomas Tuchel’s side are in the final of the FA Cup as well as the semi-final of the Champions League, where they play Hazard’s Real.
Ahead of the first leg in Madrid on Tuesday, with Hazard expected to be fit following a muscular injury, Pulisic insists he is not basing his game on the Belgian despite obvious comparisons with the positions the pair play.
“He was an incredible player at this football club of course,” Pulisic said of Hazard. “I definitely looked up to [him].
“I am not comparing myself to him in any way or trying to be like him. I am my own player, doing my best for this club.
“Obviously he was a massive player for this club and obviously it is an honour to hear comparisons like that, but I still have a way to go.”
Pulisic was then asked if Chelsea have a player with the stature of Hazard in their current squad.
But the 22-year-old is convinced the Blues are doing well enough without such a presence, as the recent results have shown.
“He was an incredible player who did a lot for this football club,” Pulisic added.
“We are moving on without him. I never played with him so I only know how it is without him.
“I think we are in a good place now. I mean we are in a semi-final of the Champions League, we have got a lot left to play for this season, so I think this team definitely has a good situation at the moment, so that’s a positive.”
Hazard has struggled with injuries throughout his time at the Bernabeu.
But, speaking on Monday, Real boss Zidane insists the 30-year-old is ready to play.
“I don’t see Eden having any doubts. He looked very good on the field the other day,” Zidane said.
“That was the most important, not feeling anything from his old problems. Now he is good, and now to push on.
“We are happy to have him with us, he will bring a lot to the team.”