American wonderboy Christian Pulisic’s long anticipated move to the English Premier League finally seems to be coming to fruition, with Maurizio Sarri’s Chelsea agreeing to a fee with Borussia Dortmund for the 20 year old.
The Croatian-American star put his name in the world spotlight in the 2015-16 season, making his first team debut at the age of just 17. He went on to earn 4 starts in that Bundesliga season and became the youngest player in the German top-flight history to score 2 goals in a league season. The next two seasons that followed saw Pulisic become an integral part of the Dortmund attack, primarily featuring out wide in a 3 pronged attacking formation. This season, however, has seen Pulisic in a situation brand new to him in his young career so far. The 2017 USMNT player of the year now has been reduced to bench duty due to the emergence of teenage sensation and former Manchester City youngster Jadon Sancho. Pulisic now finds himself in a situation much like former Dortmund winger Emre Mor, who left the Bundesliga giants due to Pulisic’s own emergence.
With playing time looking limited at Dortmund and his desire to grace the English top-flight very evident, now may be the time to join one of England’s top 6 sides, with Liverpool and Arsenal also supposedly interested as well. Chelsea, however, seem to have sealed the deal with Pulisic’s club and all that awaits in personal terms with the American himself. Dortmund have long expressed their desire to keep the American youngster through the winter as he still has considerable value within the squad, only open to the idea of letting him leave during the summer. The West London side have agreed to a hefty $57 million fee for the 20 year old star and an official statement looks close to being revealed. This transfer fee makes Pulisic the most expensive American player in history, absolutely shattering the previous record of John Brooks’ move to Wolfsburg for $22 million.
In his 4th season as a first team professional footballer, Pulisic has amassed 81 league appearances, 51 of which from the start and recorded 13 goals and assisted 10 others, winning the DFB Pokal in the process against rivals Bayern Munich (who were also interested in signing Pulisic).
With Chelsea, Pulisic will likely play in the mold of star man Eden Hazard, a dynamic, quick moving midfield player with great ball control and ability to create chances, and pitching in with some goals in the process. The West Londoners have had a difficult time of late with their front line, with Alvaro Morata in some mental slump and Oliver Giroud only proving to be a late panic buy from Arsenal and no other out-and-out strikers in the squad. This has often led Hazard to play in a false 9 role, something Pulisic may need to learn if Hazard’s long anticipated move to Real Madrid ever materializes. If not, Pulisic and Hazard could spearhead a Chelsea midfield that would be the most effective and attacking-minded in the Premier League.
By: Andrew Diefenderfer