Christian Pulisic: I should have been given more opportunity in Chelsea

Christian Pulisic expressed his desire for more opportunities to prove himself at Chelsea, but believes his move to AC Milan will propel him to new heights as a player. The United States star recently signed a four-year contract with Milan, bidding farewell to Chelsea where his tenure fell short of initial expectations following his €64 million transfer from Borussia Dortmund in 2019.

During an interview with ESPN’s Graham Hunter after sealing the deal in Milan, Pulisic was asked about the possibility of receiving more chances to showcase his abilities at Stamford Bridge. He responded, “Of course. I’d like to think so. Of course there are definitely times where I wish I could’ve gotten more of an opportunity and been that guy, but yeah, for whatever reason, that’s not the case, and like I said, I’m just so excited for this new challenge and I’m definitely ready and up for it.”

Pulisic made a total of 145 appearances over his four seasons at Chelsea, scoring 26 goals and providing 21 assists. One of his standout moments occurred in the 2020-21 season when he scored against Real Madrid in the Champions League semifinals, contributing to Chelsea’s triumphant campaign.

However, due to injuries and frequent managerial changes, Pulisic’s impact and role diminished in recent seasons. In the previous campaign, he recorded just one goal in 30 games across all competitions, marking his lowest single-season totals with Chelsea.

In contrast, Pulisic found reassurance in his initial conversations with Milan manager Stefano Pioli, who conveyed his desire to have Pulisic as part of the team and saw him fitting in well. Pulisic acknowledged that he still needs to earn his place but expressed his optimism, stating, “It felt like I was wanted here and I have a great opportunity, if I show good effort, good attitude every day and train well, that I’m going to get the opportunity to go out and perform.”

Pulisic has continued to play a significant role for the US Men’s National Team, leading them to victory in the Concacaf Nations League on two occasions and helping the team reach the round of 16 in the 2022 World Cup. With his move to AC Milan, one of Europe’s most successful clubs with seven Champions League/European Cups and 19 Serie A titles, Pulisic believes it will enhance his capabilities on the international stage. He sees this as a chance to learn and grow as a player in a new league, facing different challenges and opponents that will test and prepare him for major tournaments like the Copa America.

Joining AC Milan also means reuniting with familiar faces such as Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who also made the move from Chelsea to San Siro, and his US teammate Sergino Dest, who spent the previous season on loan at Milan from Barcelona. Additionally, Pulisic will be glad to see former Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud, who played a role in persuading him to accept Milan’s offer.

While adapting to his new environment and learning Italian pose initial challenges, Pulisic already feels a personal connection to the country through his late grandmother. He mentioned that his grandmother would be immensely proud of his achievement, expressing his honor to play for such a historic club in Italy, confident that she is looking down on him with pride.