Christian Pulisic’s lack of playing time with Chelsea is a worrying sign ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup and despite several clubs reportedly interested in the U.S. men’s national team attacker, Chelsea isn’t planning on letting him go.
Chelsea has reportedly blocked Christian Pulisic from exiting the club on a permanent transfer or loan, Yahoo Sports and The Athletic reported Tuesday. Pulisic is seeking a move to earn consistent minutes elsewhere, but Chelsea will keep him at Stamford Bridge for the time being, according to the report.
The 23-year-old Pulisic has two years remaining on his Chelsea contract and was reportedly on the radar of both Manchester United and Newcastle United in recent weeks. Pulisic made only 13 starts for the Blues under Thomas Tuchel last season, finishing the season with 38 combined appearances, eight goals, and five assists in all competitions.
However, Pulisic has yet to start a match for Chelsea this season through the opening five league matches, totaling 95 minutes off the bench. Pulisic’s frustration was visible in Tuesday’s 2-1 road loss at Southampton, where he walked off the pitch at St. Mary’s while his teammates went to applaud the traveling fans.
In total, Pulisic has scored 25 goals and added 19 assists in 117 appearances for Chelsea, winning the 2020-21 UEFA Champions League title.He is one of several attacking players in Tuchel’s squad including Raheem Sterling, Kai Havertz, Conor Gallagher, and Hakim Ziyech. Chelsea next hosts London rivals West Ham United on Saturday before opening Champions League play at Croatian side Dinamo Zagreb on Sept. 6.
Pulisic will also be fighting for USMNT involvement this September as Gregg Berhalter’s squad faces Japan and Saudi Arabia in their final pre-World Cup friendlies.