Premier League 2018-19: The underlying reasons behind Chelsea signing Christian Pulisic
The £57.6 million deal between Chelsea and Borussia Dortmund has officially made Christian Pulisic the most expensive American footballer of all time. This early and expensive strike on the transfer window seems a little hasty though; why was Pulisic so important for the Blues?
The young American is what you call a modern day number 10. The right winger was signed by Borussia Dortmund at the age of 17 and has been breaking records ever since.
Pulisic broke the Bundesliga scoring record by becoming the youngest player to score two goals in the top-flight league. Internationally, he scored 20 goals in 34 games with the U17s during his two-year cycle with the team, which he also captained.
On the physical side Pulisic might not seem to be a great threat, but he is good in 1vs1 encounters. He is quick, agile and creates opportunities.
But is this all worth £57.6M? Given the fact that he's young and can be molded into something great, Chelsea seem to have plenty to gain from the deal.
Within a day of the signing, Pulisic was loaned to Dortmund till the end of the season, which is pretty unusual. They could have waited for him to finish his contract in 2020, but instead chose to make the transfer with immediate effect.
The primary reason to do so has to be the possibility of a transfer ban by FIFA. Amid the speculations of Eden Hazard joining Real Madrid if the transfer ban is imposed, the Blues will not be in any position to pull off another Kepa Arrizabalaga - Thibaut Courtois moment. With a significant premium fee, the summer auction threat has been called off.
Hazard has not renewed his contract yet and Real are still looking for someone to replace Ronaldo. The Belgian has been phenomenal this season, to say the least. After a spectacular World Cup, he recently netted his 100th goal for the Blues.
Even though Hazard seems to be content, his admiration for Real Madrid is not unknown. This possibility of losing an attacker made Chelsea desperate to seal the deal before it was too late.
Apart from this, Pulisic has been in the transfer news in the Premier League for over a year now. During the last summer he was linked with Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur and especially Arsenal since their head of recruitment Sven Mislintat is a fan. Even Manchester United showed interest during the current season, but the sudden departure of Jose Mourinho left them in no position to take the deal.
Chelsea's signing of Kepa Arrizabalaga (at club record fee of £71.6m) after Thibaut Courtois's late departure to Santiago Bernabeu delayed the negotiations till 2019. But the Blues were always interested in this young American, and this deal has eliminated all the competition.
While Pulisic has not been signed exactly as a replacement, considering he has long-term potential, it would be interesting to see if Maurizio Sarri plays Hazard and Pulisic together.