Contrary to popular narratives, Christian Pulisic signing with Chelsea instead of “at least one other Premier League club” who were apparently willing to meet Borussia Dortmund’s asking price has little to do with Callum Hudson-Odoi or Eden Hazard, and plenty to do with Willian and Pedro. That’s according to Christian’s father, Mark, whose primary interest is obviously in ensuring that his son lands in a situation conducive to not only his talents, but his prospects and chances for playing time going forward.
“Of course that was part of the equation: You look at what a team is going to look like over the next few years. Chelsea will be having some turnover due to the ages of players. But, at the end of the day, that doesn’t matter. When you’re at the highest level of your sport, there’s going to be new competition coming in constantly.”
In fact, that is Chelsea’s ideal plan, as reported before the announcement of the transfer, with Willian and Pedro, both over 30, aging out some time in the next 6-18 months, and Pulisic taking over the right side, while Hazard and then Hudson-Odoi rule the left.
Some of those plans were probably also a topic of conversation when Mark and Christian met with Maurizio Sarri, a meeting that Christian referred to in one of his recent interviews and now Mark confirmed to the New York Times.
“We obviously met with Sarri for quite a long time. We had a chat with him. Christian got to meet with him for a bit, and it just felt good.”
-Mark Pulisic; source: New York Times
Pulisic’s father pushed back on the idea Sarri was out of the loop on his son’s transfer to Chelsea. “We obviously met with Sarri for quite a long time. Christian got to meet with him for a bit, and it just felt good.” https://t.co/QFmu6ZulbG— Andrew Das (@AndrewDasNYT) January 10, 2019
Now that both his immediate and his long-term futures are sorted, Pulisic will be giving it his all for BVB, who are on course for a surprise league title that would break Bayern’s run of six in a row. The 20-year-old has admittedly not had his best season in the yellow-and-black shirt thus far, but now that all distractions are over and done with, he can truly concentrate on his final few months in the Bundesliga.
“The five years I’ve been at Dortmund have been unbelievable, and I don’t want them to think that I took any of that for granted. It’s not going to be easy for me to leave. I’ll miss it here.”
“I feel much, much clearer in my head now that all this is passed.”
Pulisic will need stay focused at Chelsea, too. Best laid plans or not, the pressures will be immense, not just at the Bridge, but across the Atlantic as well, with the eyes of an entire soccer nation on him. But with solid guidance all around him, he’s surely set up for success, ensuring that his dream does not turn into a nightmare.
“In the soccer world, especially now with these numbers you have, who really knows who’s worth what? It is what it is. They wanted me obviously enough to pay that much, but I’m just excited to go there and give my best.”
“This was a big dream of mine, and I feel this was the right time to make this step.”
-Christian Pulisic; source: New York Times
So say we all.
Episode 5 is out: https://t.co/L8MKsUgALZ. Christian Pulisic, Will Pulisic and Logan Panchot open up about their development as players and share some awesome insight for coaches and parents. We'd love for you to share it with others who might find it valuable! pic.twitter.com/bZ26u8tnL2— Soccer Unplugged with Mark Pulisic (@soccerunplugged) January 2, 2019