Christian Pulisic has no desire to become the Eden Hazard of Chelsea as he aims to be his “own player” after scoring his first pre-season goals for the club.
Chelsea’s new €64m signing scored a brace and won a penalty inside the half-hour mark to put them 3-0 up against Red Bull Salzburg. Eventually, Pulisic came off in the 74th-minute for Fikayo Tomori as the club cruised to a 5-3 friendly win on Wednesday.
The 20-year-old’s strong performance in Austria gave Chelsea supporters a glimpse of what might be around the corner. Obviously, the big hope is that he will fill the void left by star man Hazard following his €100m Real Madrid summer transfer.
Although Pulisic, who has previously downplayed comparisons to the Belgian, wants to his own man at Stamford Bridge. He also hopes to have earned a bit of respect following his exploits against Salzburg.
“It was a big relief to score my first goals for Chelsea,” said Pulisic, according to The Telegraph.
“Being a new signing and coming into the club, I felt I needed to prove myself and wanted to show the guys early on, especially my team-mates, that I can play too.
“Hopefully I have done that a bit and earned their respect.”
Pulisic added: “[Scoring] is what I’m out there to do. I’m in an attacking position. I want to score goals, I want to help them with assists and do a lot of good things. My work defensively is important too.
“I’m not trying to fill the gap left by Eden, he was an unbelievable player. I want to be my own player, to look at me like that, do the best I can and perform the best I can for the team.
“It’s pre-season now and I still have an opportunity to prove myself when the real season comes around.
“This team has a lot of quality. I can help with it for sure. From a similar position I can mix with these guys well, we can score our goals and do our thing.”
Pulisic and Chelsea will next face Borussia Monchengladbach in Germany on Saturday for their final pre-season fixture. The encounter at Borussia-Park will begin at 17:00 (CET).