A Chelsea forward who has reportedly given the green light to joining Newcastle should reconsider due to one huge change, while a claim as to why he rarely featured under Thomas Tuchel has been roundly dismissed.
Chelsea and Newcastle have both experienced great upheaval since their takeovers crossed the line. Both have a different manager to the ones the new owners inherited and both have invested heavily in the market.
Pep Guardiola believes Newcastle have already breached the walls of the traditional ‘top six’. Prior to Sunday’s games, the Magpies already sit inside the top four, laying three points clear of fifth-placed Chelsea.
The two clubs haven’t yet crossed paths in the market since their takeovers, either for players transferring between the pair or in their joint-appreciation of shared targets.
However, come the winter window, that may well change.
Reports out of Spain last week claimed Chelsea winger, Christian Pulisic, has said ‘yes’ to joining Chelsea in January.
Newcastle had reportedly set aside around £35m for the move, a figure some way below the £58m Chelsea paid Borussia Dortmund in 2019.
However, the 24-year-old USA international’s career has stalled since moving to Stamford Bridge and that may have facilitated a price drop.
Outlets in England haven’t yet backed up the Spanish media’s claims, thus suggesting they may be a tad premature. Regardless, Pulisic’s situation at Chelsea would lend itself to an exit given he has never been a regular starter in the capital.
Furthermore, some within the media – such as Jamie Carragher – have urged Pulisic to up sticks and leave.
Aside from Newcastle, Leeds Utd have been linked. The Whites’ connection is an obvious one given they have American owners and an American manager in Jesse Marsch.
Chelsea winger in win-win situation
Now, speaking to ESPN, commentator, pundit and broadcaster, Jon Champion, has run the rule on Pulisic’s future.
Firstly, Champion stated the managerial change at Chelsea should prompt Pulisic into being patient. While he was never overly favoured by Thomas Tuchel, his situation may yet change under Graham Potter.
Furthermore, Champion railed against the narrative former boss Tuchel did not play Pulisic very often due to an anti-American sentiment. In Champion’s words, that notion is “utter claptrap” and is not an idea an elite manager would ever entertain.
“I think it’s a time for patience because Graham Potter has just arrived,” said Champion.
“There are stories linking him with Newcastle, so in fact, he’s in quite a nice position. He’s being linked with one of the brightest young English managers in Eddie Howe. And he’s already playing under another in Graham Potter.
“Both will select their teams on merit. These stories I read about Thomas Tuchel being anti-American for not giving Pulisic more game-time are utter claptrap.
“That’s to suggest a manager would select a team to serve his own whims rather than a team that’s going to have the best chance of winning a game.
“If Pulisic is going to give Chelsea the best chance of winning a game he’ll be in the starting eleven.”
Pulisic has “underwhelmed” at Chelsea
On Pulisic’s time at Stamford Bridge overall, Champion did not mince his words.
“I think he’s underwhelmed given the amount of money that was invested in him.
“But I do think it’s a difficult stage on which to perform as a young player coming in.
“There’s always going to be a lot of competition and scrutiny [at Chelsea] . The club is run in a peculiar way, not like a conventional football club, or it certainly wasn’t when [Roman] Abramovich was at the helm.
“It may now be changing under Todd Boehly’s regime. But that’ll be slow change because Abramovich was there for so long.
“Without in any way wishing to usher him out of Chelsea’s door, I would say if Newcastle were to come calling after the World Cup, Pulisic should consider it very seriously.
“Newcastle is going to be the most exciting project to be part of over the next five years anywhere in the Premier League.”