Praise for Pulisic; Gold Cup to delay Chelsea debut?
Christian Pulisic is getting ready to head to London this week, as his Borussia Dortmund side play against Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League last 16 clash.
[ MORE: UCL last 16 picks ]
All eyes will be on the USMNT star, officially a Chelsea player but on loan at Dortmund for the rest of the 2018-19 campaign, as the hype around his Premier League arrival continues to grow.
Pulisic, 20, could play a key role for Dortmund against Spurs as Marco Reus is out injured for the game at Wembley, while multiple outlets in the UK are focusing on the fact that he will likely be called up to play for Gregg Berhalter’s USMNT squad for the Gold Cup this summer.
With the U.S. expected to go far in the competition, Pulisic could miss the start of Chelsea’s preseason as they’re scheduled to play a game in Japan in mid-July, just a few days after the Gold Cup final.
Pro Soccer Talk understands that Chelsea will go on a tour of Asia this summer, with the game in Japan the first leg of their preseason.
Pulisic will likely be given a 21-day break after the Gold Cup final, meaning he will not be able to train with Chelsea until a week before the 2019-20 PL season begins. That said, Pulisic hasn’t played a lot for Dortmund this season so even if he features, as expected, for the USMNT this summer, he could make a good impression by turning up early for Chelsea’s preseason.
As for the British perception of Pulisic right now, BBC and BT Sport host Gary Lineker told football.london that he likes Pulisic but prefers Sancho.
“I’ve seen quite a bit of him and I think he’s got a lot of talent,” Lineker said. “He’s not been an out-and-out regular in their side. I prefer Jadon Sancho to be perfectly honest from what I’ve seen, which is quite a lot as I do watch a hell of a lot of football from all leagues like a geek! He is talented, there’s no question about that.”
“It’s good to see a young American talent because if he does become a superstar that will be a real lift for the game over the other side of the pond. He’s got a lot of talent and it will be interesting to see how he does at Chelsea. He’s got a real chance, but if I could pick one of them I would definitely go with Sancho.”
Pulisic isn’t one for focusing on what others think about him, and when asked about the game against Spurs and impressing fans in England he said it is a “it’s a chance to show them what I’m about.”
If Pulisic helps Dortmund knock Spurs out of the Champions League, he will already be a fans favorite at Chelsea before he has even kicked a ball for the Blues.
“Sounds good,” Pulisic said. “I don’t look at that stuff all that much. I’m just trying to focus here and trying to enjoy the rest of my time here.”