Christian Pulisic felt “ready” to take Chelsea’s No.10 jersey when being offered the chance to inherit that jersey from Willian, with the American now looking to repay the faith being shown in him.
He impressed across his debut campaign in England, earning comparisons to former Chelsea star Eden Hazard along the way.
Pulisic has now taken on the shirt that a Belgian icon once graced, with Frank Lampard considering the United States international to be deserving of such a standing.
The 22-year-old forward has welcomed that show of support and is confident that he can continue to live up to expectations at Chelsea after recovering from the injury he picked up in the 2020 FA Cup final.
On becoming the Blues’ new No.10, Pulisic told CBS Sports: “It meant a lot. It’s no secret that it’s been my favourite number. It’s the number I wanted to be.
“Now that Willian moved on this season, there was an opportunity there. I spoke with the club and everyone felt like I was ready for it, and I felt I was ready, and it’s a number I like.
“So it was a really proud moment for me last weekend to wear it for Chelsea for the first time.
“I understand what it means and how much history it has — how many incredible players have worn it before me — but I see it as my favourite number. I just want to do well.”
Pulisic claims to feel no added pressure after changing squad number at Chelsea, with the youngster used to being a focal point for club and country.
He added: “I’ve been No. 10 for the national team for a while, as well.
“It’s not something I’m thinking about too much, especially while I’m playing. Of course I want to perform, but I put pressure on myself for other reasons.”
Chelsea are looking to Pulisic to help inspire trophy challenges in 2020-21, with a summer of big spending seeing tangible success demanded by ambitious owner Roman Abramovich.
“Chelsea is a club with a lot of history that always wants to compete and win titles,” said Pulisic.
“Our goal is to finish at the highest standing in the Premier League and win every trophy available. Champions League included. We’ve got a great group of guys, we’re going to compete, and we’re hungry to win titles.”
Asked if the Premier League crown is a realistic target for the Blues, Pulisic added: “Absolutely. Why not? That’s right where we want to be.
Source : goal.com