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Pulisic: I’m not at Chelsea to replace Hazard

12:40 BST 20/07/2019
Christian Pulisic United States 2019
The United States international has been tipped to fill the creative void created by the Belgian's departure, but he insists he is his own player

Christian Pulisic insists he has not been acquired by Chelsea as a direct replacement for Eden Hazard.

The Blues had no idea that a Belgium international forward would be moving on when they put a £58 million ($74m) deal in place with Borussia Dortmund for Pulisic in January.

It was being suggested that Hazard could leave, with talk of interest from Real Madrid never far away, and contingency plans were put in place.

Chelsea have since been stung with a two-window transfer ban, so moving in the winter window for a United States international proved to be a shrewd decision.

Much is now expected of Pulisic, who is just 20 years of age, but he maintains that he is under no pressure to step into Hazard’s shoes and become a new talisman at Stamford Bridge.

He told Sky Sports after taking in a first outing for the Blues in a friendly clash with Kawasaki Frontale: "I'm not here to compare or anything.

"Obviously Eden was amazing and he did so well for this club, as you could see last season and the whole time he's been here. He was an incredible player.

"For me, it's coming in as my own player, proving myself and doing the best I can to help this team.

"Right now it's going in and helping the team whatever way I can. It's just bringing an intensity into the training first of all and earning respect in the beginning.

"Then I want to make an impact as much as I can on the pitch."

Pulisic was snapped up during Maurizio Sarri’s reign in west London, but has seen Frank Lampard inherit the managerial reins this summer.

The arrival of a Chelsea legend in familiar surroundings has been embraced by many, with David Luiz excited by what a new era holds for the Blues.

The Brazilian defender said: "I think the most important thing is about intensity now in modern football. Everyone can see the last Champions League final was about two teams that can play with high intensity.

"Frank loves this club and has the identity of this club. All the staff are working with love and passion and they want to give us the best things to perform well inside the pitch."