Christian Pulisic has been standing at his Chelsea-narrative crossroads for a solid 6-12 months, with plenty of debate, especially on the other side of The Pond, about what should be the next step in his career.
More recently, potential loan-links with Manchester United have restarted the debate, and while that’s unlikely to happen — he’d be pretty silly to jump into that dumpster fire right now, even on loan; and we’d be just as silly to strengthen a potential top-four/-six rival, especially on loan — the idea is out there front and center once again.
In similar situations, the upcoming World Cup could also be considered a factor (i.e. playing time), though Pulisic could probably sit on the bench for the next three months and still get the call to Qatar. That sort of absence obviously won’t happen barring an injury, and USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter is also fairly confident Pulisic won’t be lacking for playing time at Chelsea to begin with anyway.
“He’s a fighter. You’re going to see. He’s going to get on the field. I mean, every year it’s ‘he may not be a starter’, right? Every year you hear that and every year he ends up on the field because of his contribution.
“He’s a goalscorer, he’s a winner. What I’ve seen from him in the last couple of years is his mentality has completely shifted and he embraces stuff like this. He’s not scared of challenges like (he has at Chelsea) and I’m excited to see how he performs this year.”
-Gregg Berhalter; source: PA Sport via Yahoo!
That stance certainly matches things Pulisic has been saying in public — i.e. wants to play, willing to fight, etc, etc, etc. — so an exit now, especially with the new American ownership in place, would be quite surprising. Pulisic’s contract does have only two years left, and that certainly could prove a dilemma next summer, but a lot can change in the next 12 months.
As things stand, Pulisic is the first attacking option off the bench, and with a packed schedule and plenty of games and trophies up for grabs, he should be getting plenty of opportunities to get back to at least the levels we saw from him during Project Restart in 2020.