There are always transfer rumors surrounding Christian Pulisic. He’s a talented young player who already has plenty of experience in top-level senior football. And he’s American, so stories about him generate significant buzz on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.
In the past those rumors have been easy to dismiss, but this summer might be different. Pulisic is increasingly being linked with a move to England. Tottenham Hotspur are reportedly interested and willing to pay a large transfer fee to secure his signature.
The reports are credible, and a move for Pulisic seems more likely with every passing year because he has spoken a few times about a desire to eventually play in England. Is it possible that after a down year at Dortmund he has become disillusioned with the project at the Westfalenstadion?
It’s not that Pulisic had a bad year. He still contributed 4 goals and 5 assists in 2313 minutes of action in the league. It’s just that he didn’t take the leap that some were expecting him to take in his second full season as a professional footballer. But then again, not many players covered themselves in glory at BVB this season. It was a poor year all around, and Pulisic’s numbers surely would’ve been better had he been in a more competent squad.
But even if he is unhappy with this past season at Dortmund, Christian shouldn’t take for granted what he has in Germany. Pulisic is only 19 but already has 2.5 years of experience in the Bundesliga. He has been given a great opportunity to grow at his own pace, and he’s not done growing yet.
He needs to grow a bit technically, and even more so physically. Pulisic stands just above 5’6 and weighs about 150 pounds. Only the best wingers can succeed in a physical league like the Premier League while being that small. He is simply not ready for that yet.
Christian has smart people around him advising him, namely his father, Mark. Those in his camp should realize that the only benefit of moving now would be a pay raise.
It’s easy to see a future where Pulisic moves to Tottenham or Liverpool but struggles on the pitch. A few struggles on the pitch and he’ll find himself on the bench, which is much harder to escape in the unforgiving atmosphere of English football, especially if you’re competing for places with players like Son Heung-min or Sadio Mane.
Pulisic’s growth hasn’t stagnated this year. It’s still possible to learn and improve even if you’re playing and not seeing huge statistical returns, but it’s impossible to do that if you’re riding the bench and losing your confidence.