Joe Cole thinks Chelsea player needs to start running more when he's not got the ball

Joe Cole singled out Christian Pulisic’s brief appearance for Chelsea against Malmo in the Champions League last night, and suggested it was one which Callum Hudson-Odoi could learn from.

Speaking on BT Sport after the Blue beat their Swedish guests 1-0, Cole noted Pulisic’s 16-minute inclusion from the substitute bench.

The American made his first outing in a Chelsea shirt since August, following the ankle injury he sustained whilst on national team duty.

He replaced Hudson-Odoi with just over a quarter of an hour remaining in the match last night.

Photo by David Lidstrom/Getty Images


Callum should copy Christian

Interestingly, the two attackers are now probably vying for the same spot in the side.

Both prefer playing off the left, although Hudson-Odoi’s assist for the Hakim Ziyech came from the right flank.

The Cobham graduate demonstrated another strong display in the absence of his recovering teammate.

However, Cole made reference to a part of Pulisic’s game that Hudson-Odoi would be wise to emulate.  

“He (Hudson-Odoi) played and he run in behind. Once he adds that more to his game, the running off the ball [he’ll become a bigger threat]” said the former Chelsea winger.

Photo by David Lidstrom/Getty Images

“Like Pulisic does; Pulisic came on for 15 minutes and made three or four runs and nearly got his goal.”

Goal was gaping

Pulisic almost added his name to the score sheet on Tuesday.

After two months of waiting for such a moment, the 23-year-old found himself pretty much one-on-one with the Malmo goalkeeper.

Despite taking it around Johan Dahlin, the Chelsea forward could only find the side netting with his effort.

Photo by JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP via Getty Images

Fortunately, the offside flag saved Pulisic’s blushes.

He will have to rediscover his accuracy fast, as to avoid falling any further down Thomas Tuchel’s pecking order.

But for now, it’s good to just savour simply having Pulisic available again.

Something to learn from?

Hudson-Odoi has been in flying form recently, and seems to finally be nailing down a place in Chelsea’s attack.

However, the youngster does need to start adding more goals to his game.

Hudson-Odoi has just 14 goals in 108 appearances and while many of these were as a substitute or where he played in defence, he does need to start hitting the back of the net with more regularity if he is to go to the next level.

Pulisic actually bagged 11 goals in his first season at Chelsea, but only hit six last term, in what was an injury hit campaign.

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Nathaniel is a football journalist who graduated from the University of Derby. He has worked at Burton Albion as part of their media team for two years. Nathaniel produces regular articles for the club’s official website and match-day programme. He covered the 2018 U20 Women’s World Cup in Brittany and has reported from grounds ranging from non-league up to the Premier League.