Christian Pulisic has revealed his battle for regular minutes at Chelsea ‘hasn’t been easy’ but he is determined to ‘prove himself right’ as he believes he can break back into the lineup.
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Pulisic, 22, has struggled with injuries this season and has scored just once in the Premier League, but he was a regular starter under Frank Lampard over a lengthy period in the fall.
Lampard was then fired in January and Thomas Tuchel (Pulisic’s former coach at Borussia Dortmund) was hired, and that has led to a lack of minutes for the USMNT star and a change of system which isn’t as well-suited to his style of play.
Talking to reporters on a conference call ahead of the USA’s clash with Jamaica in a friendly, Pulisic was asked about his current situation at Chelsea and what that has been like for him.
“It hasn’t been easy. I was in a similar situation when I first came to Chelsea,” Pulisic said. “I had to work my way and earn my position in the team to finally get some minutes. I feel like I did that. I feel like I am basically going after it and doing the same thing right now. I feel very confident in my form right now and in the way I’m feeling and playing. I think I’m on a good path.”
Pulisic ‘obviously wants to play’ and ‘wants to prove himself right’
This is true. Maurizio Sarri signed Pulisic in January 2019, then by the time he arrived at Chelsea Sarri was gone and Frank Lampard was hired. That led to Lampard leaving Pulisic on the bench in the first half of the 2019-20 season, but then Pulisic became a regular and the rest is history.
As for his current situation, Christian Pulisic was asked a follow up question about the last few months at Chelsea and revealed a little more about his mindset.
Basically, he wants to prove all of the doubters wrong and prove the confidence he has in himself is well-placed.
“I would say it hasn’t been the easiest thing,” Pulisic said when asked about not playing regularly. “Obviously I am guy who always wants to play. I think I am on a really good path and I love to take on challenges and I love to prove people… not prove people wrong, but prove myself right, in a way! I will continue to work hard and coming into camp, I am excited to get more minutes and play for my country. That is all it is, regardless of what is going on at club level. I am thrilled to be here and excited to represent this crest again.”
What is next for Pulisic?
Following his Man of the Match display in Chelsea’s FA Cup quarterfinal win against Sheffield United, it is all about one thing: getting regular minutes.
Tuchel has played a 3-4-2-1 system in most games since taking charge at Chelsea and that has meant Pulisic, a winger, has been forced to play in one of the two inside attacking midfield roles.
It appears Gregg Berhalter could play him in that role too — the USMNT’s head coach hinted at a formation change to get the best out of Pulisic and Sergino Dest in an attacking sense — but the most important thing this international break is that he’s playing.
Pulisic could really do with playing two full 90 minute games back-to-back for the USMNT, as he returns to Chelsea for the business end of the season fully fit and ready to play a big part in their Champions League, FA Cup and top four push.
Of course, all he can be is ready and Pulisic is clearly chomping at the bit to get his Chelsea career back on track. If not, the transfer reports will continue and clubs across Europe will be lining up to sign him this summer.