Will Christian Pulisic be a good signing for Chelsea ?
The first major signing of the winter transfer window is here. Borussia Dortmund's Christian Pulisic will join Chelsea for a €64 million deal. The transfer will see the 20-year-old return to Dortmund on loan for the rest of the season and join Chelsea in the summer. Here is a look at whether or not, it will be a good signing for Chelsea.
The Pulisic signing is one that has naturally divided opinions in Chelsea fans. Firstly, here is look at why this deal is not one universally appreciated across the Stamford Bridge faithful
The biggest concern for anyone around the deal has two be the price. The €64 million that Chelsea have agreed to pay is an enormous valuation for a player as young as Pulisic. Moreover, with Pulisic only having 18 months left on his contract, one wonders whether Chelsea paid more than they should have for the player. Above that, Pulisic being a rather unproven quantity is sure to make people anxious and doubtful about the money Chelsea are splashing on him. Only time will tell whether Chelsea's valuation of him was correct or not.
The biggest problem in the Chelsea team at the moment is definitely the lack of goals. The Blues at the moment are a team of devoid of natural goalscorers. Very few players in the Chelsea team at the moment have a natural instinct for goal. One thing fans will hope is for the club is to sign proven goalscorers. Pulisic does not inspire hope in that department. In over 81 appearances for Borussia Dortmund over four years, Pulisic has only 15 goals and 24 assists to his name. If Chelsea are to improve as a team, this is an aspect of the game, Pulisic will have to desperately improve on.
While there are obvious downsides to the deal, it does mean that it is a poor signing by the club. There is obviously a reason Roman Abramovic has decided to splash the cash on the Dortmund star. Here is what Chelsea look to gain from the deal
Without a doubt, the biggest benefits of the deal come in the commercial sector. It's an undeniable fact that Pulisic is a marketing goldmine. The 20-year-old is probably USA's first footballing superstar and having him in their roaster is something that will definitely excite people in the Chelsea boardroom.
It's potentially a transfer that will help make massive inroads in capturing and building a brand in the American market. Trying to build a base is any country is an opportunity any club will jump on. The potential to benefit from it multi folds in a country like the United States. For a club like Chelsea who has recently become self-sufficient, this is an extremely important factor. One can argue that Chelsea's approach to signing the player would have been completely different if he was not from America.
A major competent of Chelsea's new coach Maurizio Sarri's system is the high pressing. Without the ball, the Italian wants his players to win the ball as high up the pitch as possible. This is one of the strongest traits in Pulisic game. Since the start 2017-18 season, Pulisic won possession in the final third 26 times, the fourth-highest return of any player. This could be a major reason behind Maurizio Sarri giving the signing a green light.
Still very young
While Pulisic is far from a finished product at the moment, the talent is there for everyone to see. It was only a couple of season's ago when Pulisic caught everyone's attention in similar dazzling fashion to how Jadon Sancho is doing now playing under Thomas Tuchel. His ability on the ball including his crossing, dribbling, and passing are aspects that left fans in awe of him. While over the last year or so, Pulisic has not lived up to the hype, it's worth remembering that he is still only a 20-year-old. His debut at the tender age of 16 does mean he has been around for long but the fact that he is an extremely young player should not be forgotten. There is still a lot of time for him to develop and improve every aspect of his game. Being the captain and star of the United States national team means he is someone who knows how to handle the pressure of expectation.
Every new signing a club makes comes with a consequence and how the Pulisic one impacts the club will be interesting to see. With the future of the mercurial Eden Hazard and young sensation Callum Hudson-Odoi under threat, there is a fear in the Chelsea fan base that Pulisic is a replacement for one of the two. However, in the ideal world, there is space for all three to co-exist at Chelsea.
The need to Chelsea to reinforce in wide areas is one of the most pressing concerns with both Willian and Pedro aging and over 30. While the future of both Hazard and Hudson-Odoi could go either way, by no means this signing means the end for either of those. Chelsea needs more than one quality player per position and even if Hazard and Odoi stay, there is enough space for Pulisic to co-exist and succeed with them.