FRANK LAMPARD reckons Christian Pulisic is "not quite Eden Hazard, but he's getting there" but the stats tell a different story.
In fact Chelsea's American star has scored more and completed more dribbles than club legend Hazard had at the same stage of his Chelsea career, according to figures revealed today by SunSport.
Pulisic played his 20th Premier League game for the Blues during their 3-0 win over Watford at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.
And although he didn't register an official goal or assist, he was brought down by Etienne Capoue for the penalty Willian scored to put Chelsea 2-0 up just before half-time.
However, he has scored twice since lockdown - one each in Chelsea's victories over Aston Villa and Manchester City - taking his total goal tally to seven.
Hazard had just four by the same stage of his Chelsea career.
Pulisic's 46 completed dribbles is also more than 50 per cent better than Hazard's 28 from his first 20 Premier League games.
The Belgian icon who left Stamford Bridge for Real Madrid last summer did have more overall goal contributions as his six assists eclipse Pulisic's two.
But Lampard will hope that the American's promising start to his Blues career will see him blossom and hit the unplayable form Hazard managed by the time he left in a £130million move.
Hazard left Chelsea with 110 goals and 92 assists from 352 appearances in all competitions.
Back in December, Lampard demanded more from ex-Borussia Dortmund star Pulisic.
He had five goals from 13 Premier League appearances for the Blues at the time and shortly after, he picked up an abductor tear that kept him out until after lockdown.
But his form since has led to comparisons between the two players which Lampard tried to laugh off at the weekend.
The smiling Chelsea boss said: "I don't want to get involved in that one too much because I played with Eden.
"They can both go by players and they're great to watch.
"Eden did it here and was sensational in what he did here with his input personally into the club winning trophies.
"I don't want to get on that comparison too much, but at the same time I don't want to take away from Christian because what he's showing now is a real natural ability, a balance and a speed to dribble with the ball."
Lampard then marked out what Pulisic needed to do next.
"The next step for him is more end product, more goals, more assists.
"But in this small restart he's already showing that and looks great.
"He's had injury problems but he's a good one and I'm very happy with him."
Speaking on the comparisons, Pulisic said: "Eden was an incredible player for Chelsea and is a world class player so I’m not going to try to compare myself to him.
"I’m just going to try to be my own player and hopefully the fans like that guy.
"I feel confident in my game right now and I’m happy to be on the field to help my team. I’m just going to continue and keep my confidence high."
Source: The Sun / William Pugh