Premier League • England

Christian Pulisic told to fight for Chelsea place amid Raheem Sterling interest

Christian Pulisic, Chelsea v Watford May 2022

Brad Friedel believes that Christian Pulisic is good enough to forge a solid career at Chelsea even if the Blues push through a move for Raheem Sterling this summer.

Thomas Tuchel has an abundance of attacking options with Timo Werner, Kai Havertz, Romelu Lukaku, Mason Mount, Hakim Ziyech and Pulisic all vying for starting roles.

Lukaku looks as though his return to Chelsea will be a brief one with Inter Milan chasing his signature this summer. While Chelsea have been credited with an interest in Man City striker Sterling.

The 27-year-old is entering the final year of his deal but is considering his future as he approaches the prime of his career.

Sky Sports report that City are using Sadio Mane’s price tag as a guide to their negotiations with City.

Sterling’s potential arrival will further complicate Pulisic’s role at Stamford Bridge, but former US international star Friedel says Pulisic is good enough to stay.

“You could be at far worse places than Chelsea football club, and if you have to fight for your place, so be it,” Friedel told The Mirror on behalf of 888sport.

“No one has a divine right to start,” Friedel said. “I think Christian is a wonderful footballer and a wonderful talent, and I would think that he would back himself against competition and other players.

“I don’t know the conversations between Christian and Chelsea, and between Thomas Tuchel and Christian, so I don’t know what has been said. But if the manager says you have to fight for your place, or if he says ‘you’re in my plans’, then Christian should stay of course.

Pulisic chasing regular game time

“If he says ‘you’re not in my plans’ then he might want to find somewhere else to go. I think Christian’s too good of a player for a coach to say that to. And I would assume no matter who they sign that Christian has every chance of playing, provided his form is good.”

Pulisic, who featured 22 times in the Premier League last season, also has the World Cup with USMNT on his mind.

And Pulisic isn’t the only member of the United States squad who isn’t a regular start as Gregg Berhalter’s men prepare to face England, Iran and Wales in the group stages.

Friedel added: “If our best players aren’t getting minutes, it doesn’t mean we’re definitely going to be on the back foot. But it helps if your top guys [play].

“We need Tyler Adams to be playing, fit and healthy, we need Weston McKennie to be to be playing, fit and healthy, we need Christian Pulisic to be to be playing, fit and healthy, [Yunus] Musah, one of the goalkeepers.

“If we have all these guys fit and playing games regular, we will cause problems for teams. I’m not saying we’re going to win every game, but it will be difficult for anybody to beat us.”

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