January has now passed and Christian Pulisic is still contracted to Chelsea, but is the American’s time at Stamford Bridge realistically up?
The London club has been on a mesmeric spending spree this winter, with Todd Boehly looking to secure lots of players on long-term contracts to assist with FFP regulations.
Whether or not this proves to be a genius strategy will only be known in time, but for the moment it has left Graham Potter’s squad bloated heading into the second half of the campaign.
Prior to the transfer window there were no guarantees that the American international would be a regular starter for Potter. As we sit on Feb. 3, the chances of him playing are rather slim.
Christian Pulisic playing chances look bleak at Chelsea
Joao Felix has arrived on loan which takes up a spot through the center. Meanwhile Noni Madueke has joined from PSV Eindhoven to play from a wide position.
This is before you even take into account Mykhailo Mudryk’s arrival for over $100 million. The Ukrainian will be one of the first names on the Blues’ teamsheet.
What you have to remember is that for Boehly’s gamble to work, each of these players have to be productive members of the Chelsea team. They can’t sit on the bench.
If you were to look at Chelsea’s books, they need Madueke and Mudryk to be playing well far more than they do Pulisic.
It’s an unfortunate reality of the situation, but the former Borussia Dortmund prodigy is unlikely to get a look-in during the second-half of the season.
Hakim Ziyech has played well under Potter, but even he was deemed surplus to requirements and was almost loaned to Paris Saint-Germain on deadline day, only for the paperwork to be submitted incorrectly on three occasions.
That deal fell through, and leaves Ziyech a part of Potter’s squad, and he certainly appeared to prefer the Moroccan to the American of late.
USA fans to get a sharp wake-up call ahead of 2026 World Cup
One of the problems that has followed Pulisic throughout his career is that the burden of expectation has far outweighed his considerable talent.
Make no mistake, Pulisic is the most naturally gifted soccer player to ever come out of the United States of America. That raised expectations and hopes back home. American fans expect him to shine for the national team, but how can he do that when his domestic career is so stop-start?
The USMNT needs to prepare well for the 2026 World Cup on home soil. Pulisic is a central part of that plan.
However, if he isn’t playing regular soccer, U.S. fans will be in for a hugely disappointing return from the forward. He needs to be playing regular football in order to be at his peak for the tournament, that should be the culmination of his sporting career.
For now, he can’t get that move with an injury just before the January window opened ending his hopes of a loan. His Chelsea future is bleak, with the only positive being that there are only five months until the next transfer window opens.
Pulisic needs to be a star somewhere
Pulisic is a confidence player. He needs to feel respected and needed. He has never truly felt that at Chelsea. A move away from Stamford Bridge in the summer is of paramount importance.
Pulisic must find a club where he will play every game and also be their talisman.
That builds confidence and will allow him to get his best level before the road to the World Cup starts.
If Everton manage to stay in the Premier League, they would be the perfect club for him to join. He’s exciting, direct and would vastly improve their squad.
Unfortunately for fans, the Chelsea experiment has failed and the quicker everyone moves on, the better.
PHOTO: IMAGO / Action Plus
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