Jamie Carragher and Micah Richards clashed over the comparison between Eden Hazard and Christian Pulisic after Chelsea’s 1-1 draw with Real Madrid on Tuesday.
Pulisic scored the Blues’ crucial away goal to give them the edge over Madrid ahead of the second leg at Stamford Bridge.
Carragher insisted he was “not knocking Pulisic” but believes those claiming the American can reach Hazard’s levels are forgetting just how good the Belgian was in the Premier League for Chelsea.
“I’m a big fan (of Pulisic) but I don’t think he’ll get to the level of Eden Hazard… apologies, he won’t,” Carragher told CBS Sports.
“Eden Hazard was the best player in the Premier League for four years and Belgian finished third in the World Cup (in 2018), he was the best player in the tournament – that is the level we are talking about with Hazard.
“This is not me knocking Pulisic – it might look that on social media after the show from certain people! – but I think we forget how good Hazard was.
“He was my favourite player in the Premier League and for Pulisic to get there and to light up a major tournament for the US will be difficult.
“Yes, I think he can have a brilliant career and he has a lot of potential but I don’t see him getting to that level.”
Micah Richards disagreed and backed Pulisic to kick on and match Hazard’s level.
“He’s a big game player and it is just about keeping him fit,” Richards added.
“The manager clearly trusts him and I think he can be as good as Eden Hazard, that’s how much I believe in his ability.”
The American arrived at Chelsea from Borussia Dortmund as a replacement for Real Madrid-bound Hazard and has consistently been compared with him due to similar attributes.
Speaking before Tuesday’s first leg, Pulisic said on the comparisons: ‘I definitely looked up to him. I am not comparing myself to him in any way or trying to be like him.
“I am my own player, doing my best for this club.
“Obviously, he was a massive player for this club and obviously it is an honour to hear comparisons like that, but I still have a way to go.”