Chelsea forward Christian Pulisic has said that he found boss Thomas Tuchel’s decision to drop him in the Champions League last season tough to take.
The USA international has endured a mixed career at Stamford Bridge following his move from Borussia Dortmund. In 2019/20, he came back from the coronavirus lockdown in sensational form. However, injury issues throughout the first half of last term halted his progress before Frank Lampard got the sack.
Under Tuchel, he has mainly operated as a dangerous option from the bench. That is, apart from a spell after the March international break when he impressed.
But after scoring the opener in the Champions League semi-final first leg against Real Madrid, he did not earn another starting role in the second leg.
Despite coming on as a substitute and getting the assist for Mason Mount’s goal, he has told the Daily Mail of his frustration at Tuchel’s decision.
“He’s always been intense, very competitive, nothing much has changed,” Pulisic said of his manager.
“Without the crowd noise you can hear him more but he doesn’t mean it in a bad way.
“It was very tough. I felt like I was in my best form and to be back on the bench was extremely tough. When you are in form, you feel good and want to carry on.”
However, Pulisic added that battling places is part and parcel of playing at Chelsea.
“Competition here is fierce,” the 22-year-old said. “We want to win titles.
“It is about keeping your head in the right place so if an opportunity comes you can still make a big impact.”
Pulisic’s contributions eventually proved vital in getting Chelsea to their victorious Champions League final against Manchester City in May.
Pulisic linked with Chelsea exit
However, reports from the same newspaper in June claimed that Pulisic could even leave Stamford Bridge this summer.
The Daily Mail said that the American is not someone Chelsea will rush to sell. But his frustration at not nailing down a starting role means ‘the situation will come to a head’.
Furthermore, Romelu Lukaku will add to Chelsea’s attacking ranks and will come in as the starting striker to push Tuchel towards a Premier League title charge.
As for where Pulisic’s future lies, he has Hakim Ziyech, Timo Werner, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Kai Havertz in competition for places.
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