Christian Pulisic Signs for Chelsea FC

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DUESSELDORF, GERMANY - DECEMBER 18: Christian Pulisic of Borussia Dortmund is challenged by Takashi Usami of Fortuna Duesseldorf and Marcin Kaminski of Fortuna Duesseldorf during the Bundesliga match between Fortuna Duesseldorf and Borussia Dortmund at Esprit-Arena on December 18, 2018 in Duesseldorf, Germany. (Photo by Maja Hitij/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Christian Pulisic Signs for Chelsea FC

Christian Pulisic has agreed a deal with Chelsea FC. The transfer fee is set at around £58m in total. For now, he is loaned back to Borussia Dortmund for the remainder of the season.

There was interest from Manchester United and Liverpool, but the Blues were able to secure the US international first. Pulisic had only a year left on his contract, with negotiations for renewal stalling. The club decided to generate some revenue to sweeten the loss of this key player.

In his place, Jadon Sancho is an up and coming young star. He has featured for England already against Croatia. Dan Micciche claims he can be England’s Neymar, and England have really lacked this kind of exuberant, creative and dynamic talent recently. But, for now, Dortmund still have Pulisic in their squad. They are currently six points clear ahead of Bayern Munich, but they’ll appreciate it all the same, to be able to call upon the player if required.

Positioning

For the USMNT, Pulisic operates in a role closer to that of a number 10. However, at Dortmund, he is primarily a winger. Chelsea’s Eden Hazard is a fair comparison, since he is comfortable of playing either role too. They share similar qualities and should be rotated by Sarri. The manager has dropped a large hint to where he will use Pulisic, which is on the wing. He wants more depth there. But, Sarri should be warned to not compromise the playing time of Callum Hudson-Odoi, the 18-year-old is a fantastic young talent.

Strengths

Chelsea fans will be salivating at the prospect of Pulisic. And so they should be. Pulisic is only 20 years of age, yet is already a top-class attacking midfielder. On the wing, he has been especially proficient at Dortmund. He is fast, slight and skillful, able to beat defenders to a 50/50 tackle to nip past them. From either wing, he can operate to cause havoc. Keeping the ball close to his feet, he is able to reach the byline and cross to a team-mate, or equally, he can cut inside and beat several players. His turn of speed and control of the ball are his greatest assets. It is so hard to defend against this dynamic player, who can quickly shift out of any defender’s grasp.

Weaknesses

Pulisic is yet to sample the rough and tumble of the Premier League. He is a small player, who will not be much help in the air or in a strong tackle. But, that’s not his role. As a younger player, he still has other more pressing concerns to work on. Main criticism revolves around his final product and his decision making in the final third. Despite the fact he creates so many chances, he may waste as many too. But, this is definitely something that can be worked on next year under his new manager Sarri.

Verdict

This is a great move for both parties. Dortmund get to still squeeze another year out of Pulisic. Meanwhile, Chelsea gain a valuable young attacking midfielder, with plenty of tricks, goals, and assists in him if Sarri can help him develop. Sancho’s role at Dortmund grows, whilst Hudson-Odoi’s emergence may be threatened.

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