To call Christian Pulisic’s time at Chelsea an up-and-down affair is to discredit and over-simplify a complicated situation.
The American striker fought to win playing time under Frank Lampard, eventually becoming a key piece of Chelsea’s attack but thrice seeing his star turn derailed by injury problems.
But Lampard couldn’t make a defensive feast out of very good ingredients, and Thomas Tuchel has been churning out zeroes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
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Unfortunately those recipes have not often included Pulisic, whose start in a scoreless Saturday draw with Leeds was a rare one under the manager who brought him into the first team at Borussia Dortmund.
Noted transfer guru Fabrizio Romano says that Pulisic isn’t angling to leave London just yet and that no mentioned movement prior to the summer has much heat behind it.
But Pulisic has been linked in recent weeks with Liverpool, Manchester United, and Bayern Munich amongst other locations, and FourFourTwo says that Chelsea could turn to Kingsley Coman of the Bavarians in order to get their Pulisic replacement.
Coman is 24 and Bayern is not expected to sell him this summer, but a swap deal is interesting enough for speculation. Here are some American-style trades — okay, okay, swap deals — that could prove interesting for Chelsea.
Intra-Premier League deals are dicey but it’s Sunday morning so let’s sort out some Mkhitaryan-Sanchez type ideas. Obviously most of these would include money going one way or another, too, so just have fun with them.
Pulisic to Bayern; Coman to Chelsea
Bayern has made a habit of reclaiming young stars and setting them back on the high road, while Coman would give the Blues board a handsome return.
Pulisic to Manchester United; Van de Beek to Chelsea
Chelsea gets a top European prospect for its midfield, someone who can tee up Timo Werner and Kai Havertz and has a relationship with Hakim Ziyech, while Pulisic is a major upgrade on Dan James.
Pulisic to Barcelona, Dembele to Chelsea
The Hershey Hristo Stoichkov running the right side with American wingback Sergino Dest? Yes, please, and 23-year-old Ousmane Dembele, like Pulisic, is a good player currently weighed down by expectations.
Pulisic to Liverpool; Mane to Chelsea
The USMNT gets a reunion with Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool gets younger while Sadio Mane gets his big payday and a chance to start fresh.
Pulisic and Werner to Dortmund; Reyna and Haaland to Chelsea
Now we’re just down a ridiculous rabbit hole, but two bonafide Bundesliga stars going back to Germany while two young best pals trade BVB for the bright lights of London?
Pulisic, Alonso to Juventus; Ramsey, Dybala to Chelsea
The Old Lady adds another young American to join Weston McKennie and a host of young pieces under Andrea Pirlo, while Alonso gives support and leadership in Turin. Chelsea is one of the few clubs who can afford Ramsey’s wages, and Juventus lowers the ask on Dybala because the Blues take on the Welsh star’s contract and gain a proven Premier League midfielder.
Christian Pulisic has always been respectful with Chelsea – great professional. There’s interest from top clubs in case he’ll leave, normal for this kind of talent. But Pulisic is still fighting for Chelsea… and nothing will be decided before June. 🔵 #CFC
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) March 14, 2021