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Reports: Chelsea blocking Christian Pulisic from summer exit

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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.

Comments

  1. re the saints thing, that’s a road game, not a home game, and we’re talking walking off into the corner to acknowledge the traveling fans. they are also ignoring it might have been less a comment on the fans than an “eff this” at being both kept in town and then played in the back, which he never struck me as suited for, and i doubt he does either.

    i mean, i could see arriola as the next chris albright moving backwards. chasing is a lot of his game. nothing about pulisic screams defender, not even in the ajax/barca “light on actual defense” sense.

    CFC fans are not that rabid and will get over it if they start winning again.

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  2. i would be curious how much of this reflects a lack of front office faith in tuchel. if tuchel may soon be gone maybe you don’t sell someone for not meshing with tuchel. and you probably wouldn’t tell the player or media that, until you make the decision on tuchel, so as not to kneecap the coach and team while tuchel is in charge.

    also, club snobs tend to ignore that squad players may soak up european or cup minutes, as well as christmas fixture congestion games.

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    • That’s probably a good take. You do wonder if instead of expressing a lack of confidence in Pulisic, it could well be Boehly considers Tuchel a lame duck and is going to give him another few games with his new signings to turn things around…and if he can’t, it’s Tuchel Be Gone. At which point Boehly would have felt pretty stupid to have unloaded Pulisic.

      Even if that’s correct, you wonder if it might be too late to rehabilitate Pulisic in the eyes of the Chelsea fans. Once the fans hate you, it’s durn hard to win them back.

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      • Easy to win fans back. Fans care about one thing… winning games and being a factor in the games. Pulisic could go on a tear and score goals and fans will welcome that with open arms.

      • as someone who lived in the area for a bit and went to both the bridge and craven cottage several times, the stereotype on chelsea fans is “prawn sandwich.” they are loud but they tend to be middle class — it’s a nice area with expensive houses — and not exactly “ultras.” in that context, he didn’t flip off the stands or hold out, he pouted and went to the lockers. if he started playing again and did nice stuff, anyone who cares would probably forgive. i’m not even sure a fanbase with working class hooligan energy would freak out, either.

        couple times in youth select a team spent the day tripping me and i couldn’t be bothered walking through the line shaking hands after. the world kept spinning and i played the next week. what he did isn’t a f.elony against the fanbase, it’s more like tabloid fodder or for people who take it too seriously.

      • IV – “Prawn sandwich”. That’s funny.

        Hopefully you are correct and Boehly’s keeping Pulisic because he isn’t planning on keeping Tuchel.

        Tuchel had better turn things around, regardless. Quickly. They aren’t just getting bad results, they look bad doing it. Prawn sammiches or not, the Chelsea faithful aren’t going to put up with what we’re seeing now for long.

      • quozzel: they are angry, just not eagles fans about it. winning will fix it.

        the tuchel thing, i took it more simply, brass is not ready to make a coaching decision, giving him a chance still, but since it could spin either way perhaps hedging with pulisic. if the brass was that sure tuchel will fail he’d be gone already and the new coach would have decided pulisic’s fate. but i think they also have a scenario in mind — whether crazy to believe or not — where tuchel stays and fixes it, and they deal with pulisic after qatar. i think it’s more a punt while the coaching situation sorts than siding with the player and being sure the coach fails. i think the player is expendable if tuchel starts winning games.

        that being said, CFC also has some history of sitting on wantaway players eg miazga. they sell when they feel like it at the price they want. they are not the dynamo selling elis for a paltry $1m because they seemingly promised it would finally happen that window (having passed on $6m as “lowball” previous window).

  3. Completely understand his frustration and don’t blame him in the least for wanting out. However, it looks like its not happening so time to suck it up and keep doing what he has been doing ever since he got there, keep soldiering on. Some positives to look forward to are 1) there are a lot less options in the attack, and even if he is Tuchel’s 4th rated forward, that means he will see some playing time including some starts as the CL begins and there are two matches a week for Chelsea. 2) Tuchel has always seemed to play CP more in champions league, including all the biggest matches so have to think that continues this year. 3) Even as 1 and 2 hold true, he is one injury/illness (to one of the other attackers) or one great performance from breaking into the regular starting 11.

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    • the dirty little secret on snobs advocating signing at “UCL teams” is group or early rounds are often handled like USOC for MLS, as a chance to see the second string and eat some minutes. so as with steffen it’s not necessarily a good sign if you play cup games. it’s more telling who plays league, which is important for itself but also keeps the UCL cycles (and cash) going.

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      • That’s not really accurate anymore some teams will use their backup keepers to keep them fresh but for the most part their using their best lineups weeks 1-4. It’s only when they’ve clinched advancement that they put in the youth and reserves. Chelsea vs Malmo last season MD 3:Lukaku, Werner, Mount, Chilwell, Kante, Jorginho, Azpi, Silva, Rudiger, Christiansen, Mendy. That’s as close to full strength as you could get in Oct of 2021. James had just come back from a minor injury (maybe Covid) and had missed England camp and a match for Chelsea came off the bench after going 90 the previous weekend. Niguez came off the bench with 4-0 lead that was the only non-regular who played. Chelsea only used Kepa once in CL even. DeLight played all but 3 mins in first 5 group matches last year for Juve. Lewandowski played all but 24 mins in group stages for Bayern despite them easily qualifying for knockouts. Mo Salah went at least 60 mins in every group match for Liverpool. Vinicius Jr all but 9 mins in group stage. Neymar, Messi, and Mbappe played every group stage match they were healthy for Neymar and Messi play full 90s in their 9 combined matches. Teams were not using Open Cup rosters last year. I guess we’ll see with the incredibly congested schedule this season.

      • meh. the part that confuses people is what looks like a first string strength side in quality can actually include league subs. but then the whole point to UCL type teams is the best are often running out second string better than what others start, eg, griezmann might start cup games for atleti. that looks like starting the starter but if you watch them every week — it’s not. that’s actually the backup in terms of week to week and percentages.

      • Teams in CL are playing 2 matches a week no one is going to be able to start the same 11 every time but even the second string guy on Chelsea, Inter, or Atleti is an International level player. It’s not USOC quality. Go through the starting rosters it’s 8 or 9 regular starters every week in CL.

  4. Really awesome move from Todd Boehly, the American owner of Chelsea…who is about to become the least popular man in American soccer for putting America’s best weapon on the shelf less than three months before the World Cup.

    Rock on, Todd. America’s going to just love you…and Englishmen already needed no excuse to hate you since you’re yet another American mogul buying up one of their cherished institutions. Limeys just love that.

    Bang-up start to your ownership stint of Chelsea there, Todd! You’re tracking to be even less popular than the Glazers by November, and the Glazers have had years to mess Man U about.

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    • People like Boehly and the Glazers do not care a wit about the public’s perception of themselves. They care very much about the public perception of their investment, and that directly influences the return on investment. US oligarchs are not different from Russian oligarchs nor Arab oligarchs..it’s all about wealth accumulation.

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      • Well, sure. The problem is, a BIG part of the value of his club is its value in the American market.

        And I would not want to the be the poor soul checking his inbox, or answering his social media.

    • Sorry he’s going to have to do a lot lot lot more to be hated more than the Glazers. They’ve done nothing but profit off the club while letting ManU slide into mediocrity.

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  5. Why would he applaud the fans who have consistently treated him poorly? The fact Chelsea won’t let him leave is another shining example of a club that no American should play for. Poor Slonina who will be loaned out for years to come.

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    • He should do it because 1) it’s thanking the traveling fans 2) Being a professional 3) They pay his salary (which is a ton of money) 4) You are grateful and considerate regardless of how others behave.

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    • I think most Chelsea fans are generally favorable about CP and have some sympathy with his situation albeit with some dismay regarding his lack of consistency and injuries… which to be honest- is fair. I don’t think taking the worst of twitter is an accurate barometer of prevailing opinion. That said- the last week could change the tide- not do him any favors in that regard. But- he will have opportunity to play. Moping, self pity is never going to get you anywhere. Top flight PL is 99.9% results driven- not exactly a place full of sympathy. With all scenarios, whether it be as a WB, forward- his best bet is to nut up, work hard, play well. This will help him with an upcoming World Cup, with fans, playing time and the opportunities to move elsewhere down the road.

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  6. I put this on another thread:
    “ With Pulisic his measuring stick is Sterling. He is the dude taking his minutes and Pulisic has to be thinking I’m better then that guy. Sterling is not someone who consistently makes those around him better. Sterling is somewhat erratic, unpredictable with the ball, and does not play teammates into to the 18. He scores goals with his athleticism and quality service.
    Tuchel may not make it to the WC with Chelsea’s performance!”

    A great example of playing with Sterling was he had the ball on the left side just outside of 6 yrd box. Decides to beat his defender wide. Gets separation and goes for goal? Pulisic makes an unmarked run far post and Sterling goes for goal? Goalie makes save of shot right at him. That is a deflating team effort!

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    • Was that a shot, or a scuffed cross? I saw it and it was poor… Tuchel saw it and grimaced… but I’m not sure he was trying to shoot.

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  7. Not rated enough by Tuchel, but rated too much to send to another Premier League team. Pretty much has to go to another country to play.

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