Tuchel solves £123m January dilemma as Hakim Ziyech hands Christian Pulisic transfer hint

Christian Pulisic has not featured in Chelsea’s matchday squad for over two months yet the chances of him etching his name back into Thomas Tuchel’s starting eleven have increased.

The 23-year-old forward, who joined the Blues in 2018 from Borussia Dortmund for a staggering £57.8 million, made his last competitive showing for Chelsea on the opening day of the Premier League season.

Pulisic showed his class by doubling his side’s lead just moments before the break before Chelsea went on to win 3-1 against the Eagles.

However, since then, the USMNT captain has suffered a succession of various setbacks that have held him back from picking up any momentum for Chelsea.

But, despite his absence, the west London side confirmed that the winger returned to training on Monday to complete individual fitness work.

Pulisic’s reemergence at Cobham spells a potential reintegration to full training in the comings days, but fans may not have to wait as long as expected after a recent turn of events.

Chelsea’s number ten has been handed a golden ticket on his journey back into Tuchel’s starting eleven following Ziyech’s uninspiring display in the Blues’ 4-3 penalty shootout win over Southampton.

Pulisic may now find himself no longer waiting for an opportunity as long as he might’ve anticipated, regardless of whether the returns of Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner coincide with his return.

Once Pulisic reenters the frame, the Chelsea boss will have eight candidates for his front-three to choose from which naturally means several of whom will miss out on starting eleven places – let alone seats on the bench.

Tuchel’s selection dilemma has already begun to show cracks and cause a rift after reports have emerged linking Ziyech to a move in January.

Pulisic may find his future at the club teetering on whether Chelsea can wrap up a handful of January moves, despite the trio having already proved to Tuchel this season – with varying degrees of success – why they should be prioritised over the American.

But, while the Ziyech of fellow teammates and competitors have more minutes than Pulisic this season, Ziyech and Barkley’s handful of disappointing displays against Southampton bolsters his chances even more so of leapfrogging into Tuchel’s starting eleven.

Chelsea’s £57 million forward now no longer faces as big a threat to his future in west London but his frequent unavailability will continue to linger in the doubts of many Blues fans’ minds.

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