Paul Merson has claimed he will be left “shocked” if Christian Pulisic doesn’t start for Chelsea in the Champions League final at the end of the month.
Pulisic, 22, was left out of the Blues starting XI during Wednesday night’s brilliant 2-0 victory over Real Madrid.
The American attacker was superb off the bench by assisting Mason Mount’s goal at Stamford Bridge, which meant Chelsea beat Madrid 3-1 on aggregate to set up an all-English final against Manchester City.
If you look back at how good Pulisic was at the back end of last season, he’s now started to regain that form.
Timo Werner got the nod to start over him against Madrid, opening the scoring with a header, which would’ve been damaging for Pulisic to be left out of the club’s biggest game of the season so far.
However, pundit Merson is convinced that Pulisic will be selected over Werner when it comes to facing Man City at the end of the month.
Ironically, Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea face Man City this weekend in the Premier League, so it’ll be intriguing to see his team selection.
“Timo Werner scored a big goal for Chelsea against Real Madrid. But he shouldn’t play in the Champions League final,” Merson wrote for the Daily Star.
“Christian Pulisic should start against Manchester City – because he is a better finisher. I’d be shocked if Pulisic doesn’t play. He can beat two or three players and he’s better in front of goal than Werner.
“When I played for Arsenal and we were defending corners, we could clear it and Ian Wright would beat two men on the halfway line and score. Pulisic does that.
“I would play him against City this weekend and see how it goes. You won’t get 10 shots a game against City, so you have to play your best finishers.”
The Chronicle View
On his day, you could argue Pulisic looks the most talented individual on the Chelsea books that can decide a game in a moment of brilliance.
The £158,000-a-week (Spotrac) speedster brings so much to the XI when he’s firing, and he’s given Tuchel a lot to ponder.
Tuchel has plenty of games before he needs to name his side for the Champions League final, but surely Pulisic can cement himself the XI if he continues in the same vein of form.
Keep up to date wth all the latest Chelsea news and opinion by following The Chelsea Chronicle’s Twitter account here.