Christian Pulisic excelled in his first season with English Premier League side Chelsea and has been given a new jersey number this season.
Pulisic has been assigned the No. 10 jersey this season following Willian’s move to fellow London rivals Arsenal, the club announced Thursday. In addition, the 21-year-old is available for the Blues season opener on Monday at Brighton & Hove Albion, boss Frank Lampard stated in his press conference.
“I am very happy to welcome them [Pulisic and Cesar Azpilicueta] both back,” Lampard said. “Yesterday was their first day fully training with the team, so they’re in contention for Monday.”
“I have to be careful and I have a squad to pick from, but the way they’re training and their attitude to come back, it looks like they’re over those injuries. I just have to make sure I manage them both back in in their own ways.”
The U.S. Men’s National Team star wore No. 22 in his debut season with Chelsea, but now has the opportunity to wear the famous number worn by club legends Eden Hazard, Willian, and Juan Mata. It’s a major honor for Pulisic, who was one of Chelsea’s top players last season.
Pulisic recorded 11 goals and seven assists in 34 combined appearances for Frank Lampard’s side, helping them to a top-four finish in the EPL and reach the FA Cup Final. He suffered a hamstring injury in the cup final at Wembley Stadium, but has made a full recovery ahead of the season opener.
Monday’s return to the Amex Stadium could bring back frustrating memories for Pulisic, who suffered an adductor injury in Chelsea’s 1-1 draw on New Years Day. He would miss 11 matches for the Blues before returning to play a major role this summer in the final games of the season.
Pulisic will be joined by several new signings this season in Chelsea’s attack this season including Timo Werner, Hakim Ziyech, and Kai Havertz. Ziyech has been ruled out of Monday’s clash due to injury, as well as fellow arrivals Ben Chilwell and Thiago Silva.
The Blues will aim to fight for the EPL title as well as impress in the UEFA Champions League and two domestic cup tournaments.