The winger, who was loaned back to the Bundesliga giants for the remainder of the season, is in action against Tottenham in the Champions League
Christian Pulisic will become a Chelsea player in the near future.
The 20-year-old’s transfer from Borussia Dortmund to the Premier League side was confirmed last month, with the Blues paying £58m for him and loaning him back to the Bundesliga side for the rest of the season.
But just who is this youngster, who is in action against Tottenham in the Champions League Round of 16? talkSPORT.com takes a look.
Born to play
It turns out football runs in the Pulisic family tree. His parents Mark and Kelley both played collegiate soccer at George Mason University, with his father becoming a professional indoor soccer player for the Harrisburg Heat. Pulisic’s grandfather Mate, was born in Croatia and received an offer to play for their national team, he declined. Will Pulisic, his cousin, represented the United States Under 17 side as a goalkeeper and played for the Dortmund U19 team.
Life across the pond
In 2005, Pulisic’s parents were in the UK to make the most of work and studying opportunities. His mum received a Fulbright scholarship to work abroad on a teaching exchange and it was during this period that the seven-year-old spent a year with local club Brackley Town. The passion and appetite Pulisic already had for the game grew even further during visits to places like Anfield and Old Trafford as well as lower division sides before returning to America.
Name: Christian Pulisic
Born: 18/09/98 in Hershey, Pennsylvania
Club: Borussia Dortmund
Honours: German Cup winner
International: 23 America caps, nine goals
After a spell with Michigan Rush, Pulisic joined PA Classics – a U.S Soccer development academy, where he spent seven years. His performances led to him playing for national team’s U15 side aged just 13. Pulisic scored 21 goals in 28 appearances and showcased his potential.
Plays like Marco Reus
Like the Dortmund ace, Pulisic is fast, direct and can cause havoc from either the central or wide areas. “I’ve learned so much from Marco,” said Pulisic in 2017. “It’s great to have him on the team. I think he plays a similar style to me, so I’m learning a lot from here. It’s only going up from here.”
No to Barca
It was clear to see from anyone who had watched him that Pulisic was a special player and his parents decided the best way to enhance his talent would be at a club in Europe. Invited for a trial with Barcelona, the offer was turned down and he instead went to Dortmund.
“When he was 15 and playing in the national sides, he realised he had to make the move quickly for the development of his game,” his father, Mark, told the Guardian. “Once, as parents, we felt he was ready and it was something he wanted, we went to visit Dortmund. All of us decided we felt it was the right move and the club was great with us, so we took the plunge. You have to go with your gut feeling.”
Impressive showings for the Dortmund youth teams, included 10 goals and eight assists in just 15 matches meant he was given his opportunity to impress with the first team during the winter break of 2016, eventually making his Bundesliga debut in a 2-0 win over FC Ingolstadt. In April that year, he netted his first goal for the club, opening his account against Hamburger SV to become the youngest non-German and fourth youngest player – aged 17 and 212 days, to score in the league.
Records continued to be broken by Pulisic after he was called into the senior United States team by Jurgen Klinsmann in March 2016. He became the youngest American to appear in a World Cup qualifier and the following week he became the youngest scorer for the USA during their match with Bolivia. In September, Pulisic scored twice in a qualifier, the youngest American to ever do so.
Future Premier League star?
It seems like Pulisic has been eyeing a move to England for a while.
“England, the Premier League, is a league where lots of kids dream of playing,” he explained before the USA’s friendly defeat to England in November. “So there is no reason why maybe one day I won’t play here.”