Christian Pulisic not 'direct replacement' for Eden Hazard, says Raphael Honigstein

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Christian Pulisic of Dortmund runs with the ball during the Group A match of the UEFA Champions League between Borussia Dortmund and Club Brugge at Signal Iduna Park on November 28, 2018 in Dortmund, Germany. 0:42
The Transfer Talk panel discuss how Chelsea secured the signing of Christian Pulisic ahead of Liverpool and Manchester United.

Chelsea have not signed Christian Pulisic as a "direct replacement" for Eden Hazard, according to Raphael Honigstein.

On Wednesday Chelsea and Borussia Dortmund confirmed they had agreed a £57.6m deal for the 20-year-old, which will see Pulisic remain at the Bundesliga side on loan until the end of the season.

Transfer Talk: Pulisic to replace Hazard?

Transfer Talk: Pulisic to replace Hazard?

The Transfer Talk panel discuss the ramifications of Christian Pulisic's £57.6m move to Chelsea.

Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri recently urged Hazard and Chelsea to come to an agreement over his future to end ongoing speculation that he will leave Stamford Bridge.

The Belgian has a year and a half remaining on his Chelsea contract, and has openly discussed pursuing what he described as a "dream" move to Real Madrid.

Eden Hazard of Chelsea celebrates after scoring his team's second goal from the penalty spot during the Premier League match between Watford FC and Chelsea FC at Vicarage Road on December 26, 2018 in Watford, United Kingdom.
Image: Eden Hazard has a year and a half remaining on his current Chelsea contract

Speaking to Sky Sports News' podcast, Transfer Talk, German football expert Honigstein dismissed the notion Pulisic could serve as his replacement.

"I'm not sure what this means for Hazard but he is not, at least not in my mind, a direct replacement," he said.

"He can play in the same positions of course but he is not going to add those goals necessarily.

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"He will provide plenty of assists and keep the ball, but I don't see him filling the role that Hazard has - basically becoming both Chelsea's playmaker and major goalscorer in the absence of a more prolific centre forward. I think we have to look at this move in isolation."

Christian Pulisic in action for USA vs Italy in Genk
Image: Pulis has made 23 appearances for the United States

"I don't think it necessarily changes anything about the Hazard situation. The way I understand it is that both him and Chelsea are waiting for Real Madrid to make the move.

"Until Real Madrid have decided that Hazard is going to be our next superstar and say 'we want him, no one else and here is the money', nothing will move.

"I don't think, or have heard anything on the contrary, that Real Madrid have ever done that. That is why we see this flip-flopping from Hazard.

"One day he says he wants to stay, the other day he says he might leave. I don't think he himself knows right now because there is not an offer on the table."

Christian Pulisic 0:30
Jurgen Klopp says Chelsea have signed a very skilled player in Pulisic who he worked with at Borussia Dortmund

However, Honigstein believes the American, much like Hazard, can be deployed in multiple positions in Sarri's potential Chelsea line-up next season.

"He's very versatile, he can play across the attacking positions in midfield and he can play as a No 10," he said.

"He can play in the hole and on the wing but I don't think he is a out-and-out winger.

"He will be somebody that can play between the lines, lovely when it comes to link up play. He can also play direct but perhaps needs more maturity when it comes to the decisive moments in the final third.

"He's still a player that is growing. At 20, he is on the cusp of becoming the player that everyone in Europe believes he can be."

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