The ancient grounds of Serie A have been blessed by a considerable inflow of American talent in recent years, with Christian Pulisic and Weston McKennie two of the most recent.

This spike not only shows that the world of soccer is changing, but it also shows how well-respected American players are becoming abroad.

Christian Pulisic and Weston McKennie both had spells in the Bundesliga and the Premier League. However, it was in Serie A that they were able to prove their doubters wrong and get back on track after struggling.

Both of them have had poor seasons for their teams in the prior seasons. Pulisic made an immediate impression throughout his four years at Chelsea. In his first two seasons with the Blues, he saw action in 77 games and scored 17 goals.

Sadly, the 25-year-old was benched and often scolded for his performances as injuries and club problems came to light. The Premier League was no different for McKennie in this regard. Leeds United, where the center midfielder was on loan, went down to relegation after a poor stint.

Both players have moved on from their troubles and are now enjoying playing in Italy’s Serie A, where they have revitalized their careers.

What did Pulisic say?

Since signing with AC Milan last summer for about $21 million, the 25-year-old American winger has been sensational. In Milan, he quickly solidified his position in Stefano Pioli’s team. Across all competitions, he has made 45 appearances, scoring 13 goals and assisting on eight more.

With Pulisic, the Rossoneri can look forward to the summer with confidence. USMNT fans should take heart from his development in Italy as they prepare for this year’s Copa America.

Christian Pulisic has yet to fully find his forever home after spells with Chelsea, Dortmund and now AC Milan
Christian Pulisic has yet to fully find his forever home after spells with Chelsea, Dortmund and now AC Milan

Christian Pulisic has yet to fully find his forever home after spells with Chelsea, Dortmund and now AC Milan

The winger discussed his progress since joining the Serie A last summer in an interview with ESPN. “I think I’ve grown a lot here, I’ve actually been surprised by how difficult a lot of the games are in this league. I think it’s been a great test for me, but it I think it just comes down to just being given the opportunities here.

“I’ve had a lot of time on the field to show what I can do, and I’ve been given a creative role and a lot of freedom as well at times, which has been a huge part of getting that self-belief and confidence back.”

After that, they wanted to know what he found most challenging to adjust to. “The language is always the hardest part, when you don’t speak it at all”, he added.

What did McKennie say?

Meanwhile, this season, McKennie has not only regained his self-confidence but has gone above and above. He has played a key role in manager Massimiliano Allegri’s midfield. In 31 league appearances for the Turin giants, he has recorded seven assists.

“For me, I think the league helped me grow in more of a tactical and positional standpoint. I was in Germany before, and I was the workhorse still, running everywhere and trying to get into everything, maybe running 60 yards when I only needed to run 20 to get the same job done, so I think that Italy helped me out in that way, it’s a very tactical and defensive league.”

After addressing the adaption challenges, the American midfielder revealed a puzzling move by Juventus. “Probably just the language”, McKennie added.

“Also, coming here and being someone no-one really knew about, I didn’t have a translator so I was just sitting in meetings like ‘Uhh… what’s going on?’ and then was expected to do it on the field straight away. Definitely the language.”

Photo credit: IMAGO / Nicolo Campo : IMAGO / Goal Sports Images