CHRISTIAN PULISIC is desperate to make his mark on Chelsea but until he improves his consistency he will continue to frustrate Thomas Tuchel and the Stamford Bridge faithful.
The winger, 23, scored in his previous Premier League match at Leeds – his eighth goal in 38 games this year – but followed that up with a lacklustre display in the FA Cup final.
Tuchel continued to show faith in the American however, starting him ahead of Mason Mount and Kai Havertz against Leicester.
But once again Pulisic did not deliver, struggling to get involved in the match and failing to show a killer instinct in the box.
He had the perfect partner in attack in Romelu Lukaku but he failed to get onto the end of the striker’s flick-ons, unlike Hakim Ziyech.
The Belgian also played a brilliant ball across the six-yard box early in the second half but Pulisic was asleep – and even his lightning pace was not enough to get onto the end of the cross to score a certain goal.
Or perhaps not, as 15 minutes later Lukaku supplied another low cross and Pulisic missed the target from seven yards with Kasper Schmeichel scrambling.
That was one of the few occasions Pulisic had a touch inside the opposition box, which highlights how ineffective he was.
He is best when running at players with the ball but too often he drifted inside where there was little space for him to run into.
But a big reason for his lack of involvement was also his work rate.
Ziyech harried the Leicester defence off the ball but Pulisic could not replicate his team-mates’ efforts.
His opposite number, James Maddison, showed exactly how it should be done, working tirelessly throughout.
On the ball the Leicester star did not find himself in space much but when he did he acted decisively, skipping past Thiago Silva before whipping a brilliant finish in at Edouard Mendy’s near post.
Pulisic, by contrast, missed the chance to win the game for Chelsea to leave Thomas Tuchel with his head in his hands.
The German is probably wondering what more he has to do to get the former Borussia Dortmund star firing.
After Pulisic’s father spoke of the “sad situation” his son found himself in Tuchel dismissed his concerns.
And until Pulisic starts producing on a regular basis the German will continue to have doubts.
Tuchel said of the affair: “I am not concerned if the player’s father says he does not love me [on Twitter].
“It’s a normal thing [for a player to be frustrated]. We have our reasons to go for players in the first XI.
“You will never see happy faces from players who are not selected. With me and Christian, there is zero problem.
“The players are responsible for being in the team and staying in the team. Am I always right? For sure, not. Is it always fair? For sure, not.”
That does not sound like a manager who has unwavering faith in his player and there is a chance Pulisic could leave the club this summer.
Juventus are rumoured to be interested in the USA international as a potential replacement for Paulo Dybala, who announced he will leave the club this week.