Back in 2017, then-Hertha BSC center back John Brooks joined VfL Wolfsburg for a then-American record €20 million, a sign of progress for soccer in the United States. Fast forward to Wednesday, when news broke about the long-awaited transfer of precocious American winger/midfielder Christian Pulisic that annihilated the record set when Brooks moved.
Pulisic will move from Germany to England, as Borussia Dortmund agreed to sell the promising 20-year-old for €64 million to Premier League giants Chelsea. The news was announced by both clubs on their Twitter accounts.
Pulisic also released a statement in German and English on his Instagram, saying “It’s a privilege to sign for a legendary club” and expressing his appreciation for the club and supporters in Dortmund.
As Pulisic addresses in his post and as Dortmund wrote in its tweet, Chelsea will loan him back to the club with which he’s rose to prominence over the course of his career before he heads to London in the summer. It allows Pulisic to stick with a Dortmund side that has aspirations of winning the Champions League and sits six points clear of Bayern Munich at the top of the Bundesliga.
It is a risky move, as Pulisic has struggled to consistently get in the side at Dortmund this year due to some nagging injuries and the emergence of young British star Jadon Sancho. Plus there will be quite a magnifying glass on Pulisic, because when players who are purchased for as much money as Chelsea spent on him don’t contribute right away, patience can wear thin, especially at a club like Chelsea that isn’t exactly known for its patience and has a manager in Maurizio Sarri who is known for a tactically-advanced system that could be hard to pick up in limited time.
The good news is that Chelsea could use an injection of youth on the wing, as the team relies heavily on 30-year-old Willian and 31-year-old Pedro to provide width. There are options other than Pulisic that can do this, the most promising of which is 18-year-old Callum Hudson-Odoi, but the young American could certainly help and potentially take the torch from them when the time comes, too. It could also help if Eden Hazard, perhaps the best player in England, makes his long-rumored move to Real Madrid, but the expectations of having to more or less replace a player of Hazard’s caliber could easily hurt Pulisic.
There are so many unknowns with a move of this caliber that it’s hard to speculate exactly what will happen when Pulisic makes his move to London. For now, it’s a time of excitement and celebration for fans of American soccer, as the most talented player ever produced by the country has the opportunity to show that he can become an international superstar.