Christian Pulisic became an AC Milan player this week, bringing to an end the mini-saga of his expected departure to an obvious conclusion. After undergoing the various medicals and meet-and-greets, the 24-year-old also sat down for his introductory press conference, where he briefly touched on his four-year Chelsea experience — its highest of highs and lowest of lows.
“The last few seasons with Chelsea were difficult. It’s great to see Fikayo coming here and doing so well. It is a brilliant opportunity for me to come here, get a fresh start and play for a big team like this. I had a good relationship with Giroud in London too, he’s very excited to have me here and I think there are going to be some nice relationships on the pitch. There’s a lot of talent in this team.”
“This is why I wanted to come here. For whatever reason, I wasn’t getting the opportunities I wanted at my previous club, but I now have a great opportunity to reach the highest level that I can and take it to another level.”
“I am now here to help this team win titles like the Champions League, which obviously they’ve done before. Lifting the Champions League was a big moment for me and the team, and I am chasing that feeling again.”
That whatever is doing a lot of work in that paragraph, as it encompasses a whole slew of reasons.
It’s true that he rarely got consistent runs in the team, but it’s also true that he was often injured. It’s true that even when he played, he got moved around a lot from position to position, or used only as a super-sub off the bench. But it’s also true that when he did play, his production did not live up to expectations — especially after the first season and Project Restart. He scored just 1 goal last season, a career low. He averaged over 35 games per season for his Blues career, but nearly half of those appearances (62 of 145) were from the bench. He would complete just 34 full matches all told. The constant changes at the club probably didn’t help either, but those weren’t unique to his situation.
In any case, it’s been accepted for a while that a change of scenery would be best for Christian, so hopefully this move works out better for him. The focus and attention and the pressure placed on him, especially from across the Pond, will not lessen one bit.
Good luck, Captain America (a nickname he apparently hates)!
“I want to thank all my teammates, coaches , fans and everyone behind the scenes that made these last few years at Chelsea so special. Lifting this [Champions League] trophy at the end of that wonderful champions league run will stick with me forever. Thank you for the memories ”
-Christian Pulisic; source: Instagram