Clubs

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel said he is happy with the impact Christian Pulisic is making this season and praised his versatility in helping combat the club’s injury crisis.

The USMNT international has started six of the Blues’ last eight games across all competitions, occupying a number of positions including wing-back and centre-forward in addition to his usual role as an attacking midfielder.

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Pulisic has registered only three goals and three assists from 18 appearances this term but the 23-year-old’s numbers have been affected by being asked to fill absences of various players including wing-backs Reece James and Ben Chilwell, who is out for the rest of the season following knee surgery, in addition to Romelu Lukaku.

Speaking at a news conference on Tuesday ahead of Chelsea’s Carabao Cup semifinal second leg at Tottenham Hotspur, Tuchel said: “Yes it’s true we moved him around a little bit, but in the end they want to play, and it’s a good thing if they can play more positions.

“You can always argue I would have been more consistent or better if I had one clear position, but maybe then you have less minutes or you face even more competition, because up front we have two or three players in every position.

“So first of all it’s a good thing, it was also a bad sign because it means we had trouble on the left and right wing-back with injuries and he helped us out there.

“We are happy with the impact that he has. He can play a lot of minutes, he needs to play a lot of minutes, he has a physical ability that can help us.

“Of course everybody wants him to have numbers, everybody wants him to be effective, and we can improve everybody, we can improve on that. And from there we go, this is the situation.”

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