Grading Christian Pulisic's transfer to Chelsea: What the move means for the player, both clubs and American soccer
The move makes sense for everyone and is big for the sport in the states
season after the clubs announced the move on Thursday for $73.1 million, and it's a transfer that makes sense for all parties. But who wins the deal for the 20-year-old American? Here are the grades for the move when it comes to the player, Chelsea, Borussia Dortmund and American soccer.
The move for Pulisic
Making the jump to the Premier League is huge. Borussia Dortmund is known around the world for developing young talent, improving youngsters each season. Chelsea, on the other hand, isn't as known for its academy and has 40 players on loan at the moment, which is an outrageous amount. While I have no doubt that Pulisic can handle the move and flourish in England, I don't think he will initially play as much as he would at Dortmund, though his minutes at Dortmund have declined. Dortmund is better for his progression initially, but if he can go out and impress to earn minutes, this could be the move to take him to the next level.
The move for Chelsea
The transfer fee ($73 million) more than I thought the club would have to pay for the player. It's another big-money signing that comes with a ton of pressure. Pulisic is arguably greatest American soccer talent ever, but boy is that a high price. It's still a smart move for the Blues considering the exposure the club already has in the United States. Expect Pulisic's jerseys to fly off the shelves in the United States come this summer. On the tactical side, with Willian and Pedro aging and young wingers like Charly Musonda failing to fully impress, there's a chance for Pulisic to really solidify himself on the wing. Combined with Eden Hazard and potentially a new striker, Chelsea could be building something special.
The move for Dortmund
With Jadon Sancho emerging as the most impactful player on the wing, this totally makes sense. While you want to keep your top talent, getting $73 million for Pulisic is absolutely fantastic business, considering he was practically discovered by American scouts and BVB at 16. He's been very good for Dortmund, and the club deserves a ton of credit when it comes to his progression. They would have liked to keep him until he was a bit older, but with Sancho now leading the way, the timing made sense.
The move for American soccer
I can't overstate this enough -- this is massive. Chelsea is one of the most recognized clubs in the United States due to the tremendous success since Roman Abramovich's takeover in 2003. He'll have more games regularly on TV, which will raise his profile internationally, and this will certainly bring him even more into the spotlight in American sports. Having a player make such a big move raises the profile of the United States national team as well and serves as an inspiration for all the young American soccer players that dream of becoming the next Pulisic. You can argue that the Premier League is the best, most competitive league in the entire world, and having Pulisic alongside potentially Hazard is huge. In England, he'll have more games and against better competition, and that should serve him well when it comes to improving. And if he continues to improve, that is only good news for the sport in the states.
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