Christian Pulisic will seek to gain the blessing of Thomas Tuchel after declaring his ambitions to represent USA at the Tokyo Olympics – but the decision could rule the winger out of the start of next season.
The USA international has started just one of Chelsea’s last 10 Premier League outings. That is despite the fact the 22-year-old had a head start on his Blues teammates when Tuchel arrived. Pulisic was handed his big break at Borussia Dortmund under the German. However, that appears to have counted for nothing so far in west London.
Indeed, the winger finds himself strongly linked with a move away with Liverpool among those linked.
Pulisic, already struggling for first-team chances, will do himself little favour then by declaring his wish to play for USA in the Olympics.
Despite his lack of action for Chelsea, Pulisic remains very much in favour with the USA.
Gregg Berhalter’s side take on Jamaica in a friendly in Austria on Thursday evening. The match is likely to feature the Blues man..
And speaking ahead of the match, Pulisic says he hopes to play for the USA at the Olympic Games.
“The Olympics is of course a massive honour to play in and to represent your country in an Olympics would be amazing,” he told NBC Sports.
“I am fully supporting the guys in qualifying now. It is something I’ve thought about and that I’ve wanted to play in.
“Obviously I can’t control exactly what goes on and what is best for me at the time and the team at the time, I can’t say. But it is something that I would like to play in.”
The Olympics due to run from July 23 to August 8. As such Tuchel may have to rule the star out of the start of next season. Participating countries will largely have squads based on their U23s. However, each is allowed to call upon three senior stars for the event.
Pulisic’s spot in Tokyo is far from guaranteed, however, given the USA are still to qualify for the tournament.
Tuchel sends Pulisic reasssurances
Despite the doubts over his future, Tuchel, speaking last month, insisted Pulisic was very much wanted at Chelsea.
Asked if he wants Pulisic to stay at Chelsea, Tuchel gave a very definite response.
“Today a clear ‘yes’, but it’s not only my point of view, we have to see. But for me clearly yes,” he said.
“Chelsea bought Christian for a reason, for his quality, his potential. It’s our job to bring out the best in him.
“He proved in many weeks that he has the level to be a regular Chelsea player, to have a big impact in this club. It’s a challenge now to hold this level, to improve and to maintain the level and to keep improving.”