Christian Pulisic Could Become the Greatest American in Premier League History

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Chelsea winger Christian Pulisic could someday become America’s first ever men’s soccer/footballing superstar. He’s only 21-years-old and finishing up just his fourth season at the senior team level, but the potential to be the best American ever is being displayed every match now.

The Hershey, Pennsylvania native was promoted to the Borussia Dortmund senior team in 2016, at the age of 17. With 10 goals in 81 appearances at BVB, he was then sold to Chelsea in January of 2019 (with the stipulation of joining the team in the fall) for an estimated £58 million transfer fee, the highest ever for an American born footballer.

The move to Chelsea came with massive expectations and he’s done more than just live up to them; he’s exceeded it.

Despite having missed significant time due to a nasty adductor injury, Pulisic has scored 10 Premier League goals (11 across all competitions) and registered five assists. An injury shortened season hasn’t stopped the Pennsylvania Messi from reaching new career single season highs in scoring.

He’s been the Blues most productive and efficient scorer, dominating when it comes to goals involved in per minutes played. It’s no wonder that lots of pundits and supporters are comparing him to Eden Hazard, and Daniel Farke believes he’ll become world class one day.

Heading into Championship Sunday, Pulisic reflected on his first season at Stamford Bridge.

“Growing up I watched a lot of the Premier League and it was always a dream of mine to play here and I’m really lucky that I can finally do it,” he said ahead of his side’s 2-0 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers, a result that clinched Champions League football for next season.

“All in all, I’m proud of myself. I think it has been a strong first season and I’m ready to finish strong,” Pulisic said.

Pulisic has taken on a more assertive role in the team lately, and that’s critical if he’s going to someday become the greatest American hero on the football pitch.

clint-dempsey

Right now that honor belongs to Clint Dempsey, who happens to be Pulisic’s main player role model/inspiration.

“The manager has been really important for me, obviously getting to work under him, he has a lot of great experience as a player, of course,” said Pulisic.

“He has helped me adapt to the physicality of the league, just getting into the box and and scoring goals. I was a big fan of Clint Dempsey in the Premier League, I would say he is one of my favorites and I was lucky enough to play with him towards the end of his national team career.”

ESPN, FOX Sports, and NBC Sports (I guess CBS didn’t bother to weigh in) all ranked Dempsey as the greatest men’s American soccer player in history. Honestly, it’s hard to really say who else it could be?

Dempsey scored 12 goals in one season with Tottenham Hotspur, and he had 72 goals across all competitions in Premier League action (he also had a short loan stint with Fulham), the most ever by an American in a top-tier European league.

So that is the bar that Pulisic needs to clear, and although he still has a long way to go, he’s off to a rip roaring start, and there is no reason to believe he won’t get there.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net, which is 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,” regularly contributes to WGN TVSports IllustratedChicago Now and SB Nation.

You can follow Banks, a former writer for Chicago Tribune.comon Twitter and his cat on Instagram.

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