Christian Pulisic Says He Wants to Earn Back His Place at Chelsea

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Christian Pulisic did a Zoom call with reporters today, ahead of tomorrow’s United States friendly against Jamaica, and during the session he opened up about his current situation at Chelsea.

Pulisic was asked about his struggle to get regular playing time, how that lack of minutes is affecting his mindset, and there was even some talk about the upcoming Summer Olympics in Tokyo. Pulisic has struggled with injuries quite a bit this season, and when fit, he hasn’t looked himself.

He was a first team regular under Frank Lampard, but once the Englishman was sacked, and replaced by Thomas Tuchel, he instantly saw himself out of favor.

“It hasn’t been easy. I was in a similar situation when I first came to Chelsea,” Pulisic said about his only getting substitute minutes right now.

“I had to work my way and earn my position in the team to finally get some minutes. I feel like I did that. I feel like I am basically going after it and doing the same thing right now. I feel very confident in my form right now and in the way I’m feeling and playing. I think I’m on a good path.”

That’s exactly how it went down. Pulisic was acquired under Maurizio Sarri, and by the time he get to Chelsea the Italian was gone and the 22-year-old winger had to prove himself to the new manager in Lampard.

It took some time, but eventually he did, and became the team’s best player during Project Restart.

Then he got hurt a couple more times, and appeared to be lacking in confidence. Under Tuchel, there’s been a switch to a system that doesn’t really suit him.

“I would say it hasn’t been the easiest thing,” Pulisic responded when asked about major playing time.

“Obviously I am a guy who always wants to play. I think I am on a really good path and I love to take on challenges and I love to prove people… not prove people wrong, but prove myself right, in a way! I will continue to work hard and coming into camp, I am excited to get more minutes and play for my country.

“That is all it is, regardless of what is going on at club level. I am thrilled to be here and excited to represent this crest again.”

The American was Man of the Match on Sunday, in Chelsea’s FA Cup Quarterfinal win over Sheffield United, and perhaps that will give him the morale boost he needs right now in order to get back to where we was.

In terms of the Olympics, the Stars and Stripes will learn next week if they’ll qualify for the competition. Pulisic said the following on the media call today:

“It’s something I’ve thought about, and have wanted to play in. Obviously, I can’t control what goes on. What’s best for me at the time and what’s best for the team at the time, I obviously can’t say. But it is something that I would like to play in.”

The Olympiad will overlap somewhat with the start of the next Premier League season.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank, partnered with News NowBanks, the author of “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” has regularly appeared in WGNSports IllustratedChicago Tribune and SB Nation. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

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