Christian Pulisic’s transfer to Chelsea is filled with mixed emotions. Firstly, in case you’ve been missing from the hyperconnected world, here is a rundown of the facts. Chelsea will play Borussia Dortmund, the current Bundesliga leaders, a fee of around €73 million for the U.S international, which is approximately triple the previous record for a football player from the U.S.
The previous record was set by John Brooks when he was transferred from Hertha to Wolfsburg before the 2017/18 season for around $22 million. This will also be the third-highest transfer fee by Chelsea. Although the transfer is finalised, Pulisic will stay at Dortmund on loan for the current campaign while BVB pursues their title in the Bundesliga.
So will the shiny new U.S international perform for his brand-new club that is consistent with his high price tag? Will Pulisic break down as he has done several times during the season? Or will he be considered a brand-new toy for Chelsea that will only be used on rare occasions to show off? As it usually goes with high profile moves, the transfer is fraught with possible rewards and obviously with loads of risk.
Christian Pulisic at Chelsea
The conflicting emotions start with Pulisic’s club choice. Stylistically, this doesn’t seem to be a fit when it comes to Maurizio Sarri as the manager of the club as he enjoys his squads to attack quickly while extensively utilizing the wings. Obviously, Eden Hazard has managed to thrive in this system. However, given the familiarity of the position, the speed of the ball, and the technique that comes with Pulisic, it seems like the perfect place for the U.S international.
However, Chelsea is not known as a club where patience with young players or managers is a prized virtue. Once the club starts to struggle in any way under Sarri, there’s no doubt that the axe will fall on Pulisic first. Chelsea is not regarded as a place where young players are brought through the system and nurtured either. Simply ask Mohamed Salah or Kevin De Bruyne who both managed to move on to better and bigger things after receiving almost nothing while playing for the club. Callum Hudson-Odoi and Ruben Loftus-Cheek are more recent examples when it comes to young players that find it difficult to break through on a constant basis.
Even if Chelsea was considered a club where young players could develop themselves, cracking the line up of the team is still going to be quite a challenge for Pulisic. Most of the focus has been around Hazard and if the world-class football star will remain at the club. However, players like Pedro and Willian offer brilliant competition as well and both are over 30 years old. Both these players have a contract until 2020 and the club might decide to opt in for some cash this summer by trading at least one of them. Should this occur, the U.S international will have a far better opening at the club going forward too.