Christian Pulisic has the opportunity to take home an award to commemorate his fantastic debut season in England. The Chelsea superstar was nominated for TAG Heuer Young Player of the Season. The award is decided by a fan vote, which can be performed here. Voting ends on Monday, August 10th.
This is the inaugural presentation of the award presented to the Premier League’s best player aged 23 or younger. The list of nominees is a who’s who of some of the world’s most exciting young talents, including Trent Alexander-Arnold, Jack Grealish, Dean Henderson, Anthony Martial, Mason Mount, and Marcus Rashford.
After a slightly underwhelming start to his time at Stamford Bridge, Pulisic received praise for adjusting to the league and taking over matches. “He’s got that confidence now, that arrogance,” said broadcaster and former player Don Hutchison. “There’s not many people in the Premier League that can take the ball at their feet and take players on and dribble past people with ease like Christian Pulisic does. It’s difficult to compare him [to Eden Hazard], because they’re both their own characters, but they’re quite similar. I don’t think Hazard in his first season at Chelsea was as good as maybe Pulisic was this season. He’s certainly on the right path to being close to Eden Hazard’s level.”
The Hershey, Pennsylvania native contributed 11 goals and 10 assists in 34 appearances across all competitions despite missing several months due to injury. He began his career with Borussia Dortmund, where he rose to fame as one of the Bundesliga’s top young prospects. He moved to England in a record $73.1 million transfer deal.
Unfortunately, his fantastic year ended on a down note. The 21-year-old attacker suffered a hamstring injury after scoring a goal in Chelsea’s 2-1 loss to Arsenal in the recent 2020 FA Cup Final. According to manager Frank Lampard, it’s serious enough that he will likely miss the beginning of next season.
“It’s going to be touch and go for the start of the season,” Lampard told the media. “Six weeks probably gets into the start of the season, but we have to treat the injury right. In the big scheme of things, when Christian reflects on his first season, he should be very happy with his improvement levels. He’s had the most goals and assists in his career, and that’s in his first season in the Premier League. We’ll get him fit and get him ready. If he misses the first one or two games, we’ll have a firing Christian and hopefully as hungry as he looked after restart.”
Despite the setback, 2019-2020 was an incredible Premier League debut for Pulisic. Based on Lampard’s praise, it should be the first of many prolific seasons as he continues to break records and fulfill his potential to become one of the greatest American players. Winning this award, while not essential, would be a unique achievement signaling that he’s well on his way.