Christian Pulisic isn’t just a player. He is slowly evolving into brand. The American Wonderboy is really coming into his own at Dortmund. With Chelsea’s interest looking to be concrete, it is time to explore the type of player they would be receiving.
Personally, it seems like the world has been tracking Pulisic forever. It surprised the heck out of me when I realised the kid is only 19, turning 20 in September. The responsibility, both at club and country, has been placed on his little shoulders, but he has shown on multiple occasions, that he is more than comfortable doing this. When you have Lebron James wearing your USMNT jersey (below), you know you’re doing something right.
He has broken endless records during his meteoric rise to fame, showing just how impressive he has been and why there is so much hype around him. Just to name a few: he is the youngest player to represent the US senior national team in a FIFA World Cup qualifier, in April 2016 he became the youngest foreigner to score a goal in the Bundesliga and in September 2, 2016, he became the youngest American player to score a goal in World Cup Qualifying history at 17 years, 349 days.
Dortmund acquired Pulisic from his local club, Penn FC in Hersey, Pennsylvania in February 2015. No less than a year later, he had made his Bundesliga debut and Europa League debut. It is weird to think how, in such an American Football loving state which has produced more NFL Hall Of Famers than any state in USA, that young Christian chose Actual Football.
The choice can be traced back to when Pulisic lived in England in his even younger years. Around the 05/06 period is when he was around, and he would have seen the English dominance in Europe, and surely wanted to be a part of that.
Breaking down Pulisic’s game, he has experience out wide and in the 10. An attacker who has that much versatility instantly puts a few million more on their price tag. As he ages, it is natural to think he will stay outwide.
There is no one better at Dortmund for Pulisic to look up to than German superstar Marco Reus…
“It’s great to have him on the team. I think he plays a similar style to me, so I’m learning a lot from him. It’s only going up from here.” – Christian Pulisic on Marco Reus.
It is clear that he respects Marco highly, and we can expect him to model his game like Marco’s. A real dual threat, meaning he will provide goals and assists, not just one. Another £10 million onto that price tag.
Pulisic’s stats from last season highlight the extent to which this disjointed Dortmund team affected him. Managerial changes meant it was hard for Pulisic to shine under Stoger. With Bosz, he was a vital component of a radical pressing system.
His 0.78 interceptions per game from the season just gone was probably down to the joy he initially had under Bosz. With Stoger, Dortmund weren’t good enough leading up to the final third, meaning Pulisic never had a chance to showcase his qualities, and defensively, a system he was not used to.
3.11 successful take ons per game and 1.34 fouls suffered per game really do show that Pulisic is adept at beating his man, and drawing fouls.
Going into the new season, there has been solid interest from Chelsea, and once again potential interest from Liverpool. It is no surprise that these two teams are looking at him, as he would be perfect for ‘Sarri-ball’ or ‘Gegenpressing’ due to his defensive contributions and willingness to win back the ball. In attack, he offers versatility and a direct runner, who is able to create chances for himself or teammates.
With plenty of years ahead of him, it will be exciting to watch how Christian Pulisic cements his place in football’s elite.