USMNT fans are urging Christian Pulisic to leave Chelsea after he failed to get off the bench in the team’s 3-0 Champions League win against AC Milan Wednesday night. Pulisic has endured a tough beginning to the season, as he’s started just one match in all competitions for Chelsea, and Wednesday was another lowlight for the American.
And now fans are advising him to look elsewhere for playing time after an inauspicious start to Graham Potter’s reign as manager. ‘CFC supporters want Pulisic out. USMNT supporters want Pulisic out. Pulisic wants Pulisic out. A change is needed post-World Cup,’ one fan said. The winger was heavily linked away from the club in the summer after Raheem Sterling arrived, and has more recently been rumored as a target for Juventus and AC Milan.
‘January can’t come fast enough,’ another one said. ‘Rather he’s a starter at a small club then an average squad player at a big club.’ Another insisted a January transfer was necessary, writing: ‘His career at chelsea is finished. Desperately needs a move in January, and have a new start elsewhere.’
One fan had a more constructive piece of commentary on the American’s situation. ‘He should go to another someone [sic] he plays to his strength. Dribbling and quickness like Serie A or LaLiga. A league where being slight isn’t used against you,’ they said.
At least two others touted the completely unfounded conspiracy theory that Chelsea are sabotaging Pulisic to hurt the USMNT’s World Cup chances. That idea becomes an even more curious suggestion once you remember the club’s owner, Todd Boehly, is American.
‘You know do u think Chelsea is sabotaging Pulisic and making sure he is not in form for the WC especially if they are playing England?’ one person floated. ‘I’m convinced England is so scared of Pulisic in the World Cup, they have an agenda in the EPL to not play him so he doesn’t get reps,’ another said.
One suggested that Potter favors the English players in Chelsea’s squad as they said: ‘Weird how Potter rates all the English players, regardless of performance, but doesn’t rate the American player who England will have to face despite the American being an instrumental part in the Premier League win on Saturday that Chelsea desperately needed.’
While one claimed: ‘They’re deliberately not giving him game time so that he’s rusty for the World Cup. Making USA weaker and life easier for England.’ The USMNT kickstart their campaign in Qatar against Wales on November 21 and will gear up tot he rivalry clash against England on Black Friday, November 25.
Despite the calls for Pulisic to leave, there is perhaps reason for a hint of optimism.With Chelsea playing a whopping eight more matches this month, one would think the American gets a start or two – though earning playing time is far from a foregone conclusion on Chelsea’s deep squad.
‘At one point you’re gonna have to bring something on the table,’ Henry said of Pulisic on CBS Sports. ‘How many managers are not going to trust you? It’s gonna have to be you at one point. So find a way.’
Pulisic was given a wake-up call by Thierry Henry earlier on Wednesday night after being an unused substitute, with the Arsenal legend urging the USMNT talisman to ‘show something’ amid a rocky start to the season.
Pulisic has now played under three Chelsea managers Potter, Tuchel and Frank Lampard, and has seen his number of starts dwindle each year since the latter’s first season in charge. Pulisic has put up respectable numbers, with 25 Chelsea goals to his name in all competitions, but started just 13 Premier League games last season and was linked away from the club last summer after the arrival of Raheem Sterling.
‘The manager at Chelsea changes quite a lot, and you always think, OK, you’re gonna have a chance, a new chance at proving something, he might play differently,’ Jamie Jamie Carragher added.
‘We talk in England as well about getting players up to speed for the World Cup and it doesn’t look like he’s gonna be maybe at his best, in terms of fitness-wise, energy, sharpness, rhythm.
‘But we haven’t seen much of him already, and it’s early days for Graham Potter but Thomas Tuchel didn’t use him too much, certainly the new manager [hasn’t] in these early games. So I think it’s a little bit worrying for America in terms of the World Cup.
‘There’s just so many players in those attacking positions, the most he’s gonna get is minutes coming off the bench. And I don’t know if that will be enough for him to show his best in the national team in the World Cup.’