“He is very lucky if he gets a move to Juventus” – Frank Leboeuf on transfer rumour about Chelsea winger

The whispers on Twitter last night were about Juventus interest in Christian Pulisic, and on ESPN’s FC show former Chelsea player Frank Leboeuf laughed off the idea that the Old Lady would be interested in the out of favour winger.

He’s right that Pulisic has largely disappointed since moving to Chelsea. There’s always the sense that he’s about to do something great, but after a few years, you start to lose the belief that anything’s going to happen at all.

Perhaps a fresh start will help, or perhaps he’s just an inconsistent player who doesn’t really excel at anything after losing a year of pace. We’ve seen Juventus make some pretty poor transfers in recent years however, so we may yet convince them with a temptingly low asking price.

Whatever happens, we can now officially call the whole Pulisic era a bad one. With the exception of a couple of months and games here and there, he never gave us what we wanted.

One thought on ““He is very lucky if he gets a move to Juventus” – Frank Leboeuf on transfer rumour about Chelsea winger

  1. Pulisic’s performances at the World Cup, which were among the best of any player in the bloated Chelsea squad, don’t lie—he’s a legit player. Unfortunately, he’s had terrible luck with injuries. But I’ll argue to my grave that his time at Chelsea was marred by another factor—supporters and managers who couldn’t get past his American-ness.

    It’s undeniable that he had his struggles, but then every young player does (see Mason Mount circa 2023!). However, both managers and supporters seemed inclined to take Pulisic’s struggles as confirmation of their implicit bias (that “Americans can’t play football”), whereas we watched players like Mason Mount and Kai Havertz (and Timo Werner before that) receive the benefit of the doubt time and and again. They started (no matter how lousy they played) apparently because they come from “proper” footballing nations, whereas Pulisic rarely got more than one start before going back to the bench. If he made a mistake or had an off game he was out. By contrast, a guy like Mount could have a bad outing and the belief from supporters and manager alike seemed to be that he just needed one more game to round back into form. Yes, by all means let’s give young Mason another chance!

    Havertz and Mount are obviously both enormously talented—but so is Christian Pulisic. Sadly, most Chelsea supporters long ago turned their back on him. They bemoan Pulisic’s “failed” stint at the club at the same time that they bemoan the owners not stumping up to re-sign a Mason Mount who’s done nothing on the field lately and see no irony or hypocrisy in the two positions. They’ll point to Mount’s past successes (the same way I’ll point to Pulisic’s World Cup) as evidence that “the lad can play,” and then expect that they’ve won the argument. But have they really? Is it not a double-standard to say one body of evidence matters and the other not at all?

    The bias implicit to the situation seems apparent sitting “across the pond” (as I do) and I predict it will will loom larger and larger in the years to come as the US (a country 5x the population of the UK) sends more and more players abroad. They will go where they are welcomed, wanted, and valued. Obviously they will have to prove their worth, but, in the massive free market that is world football, the clubs that harbor biases will inevitably be found out and suffer for their myopia. It’s happened in the past with talent from Africa and Asia and there’s no doubt that America will be the same. As Christian Pulisic leaves the club I only hope Chelsea and at least a few of its domestic supporters will engage in some introspection about whether their pride of place in the pantheon of world football didn’t sell the player and the club that hoped to benefit from his services short.

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