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SOCCER

Pulisic with a point to prove at Potter’s Chelsea

Graham Potter’s arrival at Chelsea could be the fresh start which Christian Pulisic needs to revitalise his career.

Update:
US midfielder Christian Pulisic (R) is challenged by Saudi Arabia's defender Ali al-Bulaihi (L) during the friendly football match between Saudi Arabia and United States at the Nueva Condomina stadium in Murcia on September 27, 2022. (Photo by Jose Jordan / AFP)
JOSE JORDANAFP

Christian Pulisic is looking forward to making a fresh start at Chelsea and admits that he will now have to prove himself to recently-appointed manager Graham Potter. The 24-year-old managed just one start across the Blue’s opening seven matches of the season prior to Thomas Tüchel being sacked and replaced by Potter earlier this month.

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Pulisic was a second-half substitute in Potter’s only game so far – a 1-1 Champions League draw with Salzburg, before heading off for international duty with the USMNT. After a frustrating spell under Tüchel, Pulisic believes that the arrival of former Brighton and Hove Albion boss Potter is a chance for him to kick-start his Stamford Bridge career.

“I’m feeling good going back, honestly,” he told reporters following USA’s 0-0 draw against Saudi Arabia on Tuesday. “I have a fresh start now, and I’m excited to play for the new manager. So I’m just looking forward to it. I just have to prove myself, as everyone does, and as I’ve done before.”

Pulisic subbed

Pulisic played 76 minutes of the stalemate in Murcia - his longest outing for club or country this season, in what was USA’s final game before the World Cup finals. The ex-Borussia Dortmund winger did not look pleased at Gregg Berhalter’s decision to take him off, but was voted as man of the match and conceded that he was ultimately happy to build up his fitness. “I always want to be in the games,” Pulisic said of his reaction to being substituted. “I was just trying to score goals and trying to win the game. But it’s good to get some minutes in and I feel healthy.”

USA failed to score in either of their friendlies this window, having also lost 2-0 to Japan, and Pulisic admits his side have to improve in certain attacking areas. “There’s a lot of different ways to score goals, and I think there’s times where we can put more crosses in the box,” he said. “We can be more aggressive and more relentless going forward. I think [against Saudi Arabia] we had glimpses of it, but just didn’t see it enough.”

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