SOCCER

Christian Pulisic-Manchester United transfer: Chelsea don’t want to loan USMNT star to competitor

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Manchester United seek to acquire from Chelsea american winger Christian Pulisic, according to CBS Sports transfer insider Fabrizio Romano. Newcastle, Juventus and Atlético Madrid have also inquired, but a loan move to Old Trafford does not seem likely at the moment.

The Blues, and new club owner Todd Boehly in particular, reportedly unwilling to loan Pulisic to United, a traditional rival, according to Romano. Of course, you never know when it’s a full transfer, and with United’s struggles and interest in seemingly every player, anything can happen.

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Despite winning the Champions League and other trophies with Chelsea, the United States men’s national team star has largely occupied substitute status during his time at Stamford Bridge. After joining from Borussia Dortmund for $70 million in 2019, the now 23-year-old striker is looking to bounce back at club level after a forgettable 2021-22 season. He missed all but one of the first 10 league games due to COVID-19 and an ankle injury. He was also occasionally used as a winger by manager Thomas Tuchel. With new signings pushing him further down the depth chart, a move away might make the most sense in terms of a few minutes ahead of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

The Blues are said to be willing to listen to loan offers from the Pennsylvania native, who helped the United States qualify for the next World Cup after missing out in 2018.

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Here are the pros and cons of a move to Man United for Pulisic:

Advantage: Game time

Pulisic totaled 30 minutes of playing time in Chelsea’s first two games of the season – a 1-0 win at Everton and a 2-2 draw with Tottenham. By comparison, newly acquired left-winger Raheem Sterling played 175 minutes. Sterling has played more in each half this season than Pulisic in two games overall.

The American is a full-fledged substitute at Chelsea who provides depth throughout the attack. He’d probably get some decent minutes under Tuchel – and he’ll still produce – but we all know he’s not too happy with his role there. He’s hungry for more, and leaving the club is his best chance to improve minutes on the pitch as he’s not going to outperform a simply better player in Sterling.

Disadvantage: low morale situation

Imagine walking into a dysfunctional situation littered with tension and disbelief. That’s what Pulisic would enter if he joined United, a side that have lost consecutive games to start the season and remain last in the Premier League, having conceded six goals. Oh, and their only goal was an own goal.

Super star Cristiano Ronaldo wants to leave, they failed to reach the Champions League last season, and as things stand, they are not good enough to reach it this season. The situation could get worse before it gets better. Everyone wants to win, but this United team is not designed to win anything other than a glorified pre-season friendly with Liverpool. Entering a situation where morale is low is not optimal.

Pros: Lack of depth gives it a chance

No one knows if Marcus Rashford will ever become the player everyone thought he would be at this stage, but this lack of depth, particularly on the left, gives Pulisic a clear opportunity to come in and compete for a job. incumbent. While Rashford created three chances in two starts, he also squandered his five shots. He is coming off his worst statistical season in 2021-22, scoring five goals in 32 games. He has scored in double figures in five consecutive seasons, including at least 20 goals in the 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons. The chance to come in and deliver, potentially getting into the mix to start consistently, must be an attractive option.

Disadvantage: do it alone?

Man United are broken at the moment. Their midfield is led by Fred and Scott McTominay, two players who should be borderline players in the team, let alone starters for one of the biggest clubs in the world. The midfield is the heart and soul of the team, transitioning into attack and defence, but Man United have an xG of 2.30 in two games with zero goals scored by themselves. Conceding six goals to start the campaign, the midfield duo combined for two tackles and seven interceptions.

The team’s creative engine, Bruno Fernandes, touches the ball, creating shots and chances at a similar rate to last season, but that’s a bad sign. His assist output was halved last season and he also scored eight fewer Premier League goals.

So the question is who would give the ball to Pulisic? For the moment, the answer is not really clear. Production is down, and so is the club, and one player couldn’t fix it in Ronaldo, and more will be needed to right that ship.

We’re at a point where United fans would likely give up valuable possessions just to have former midfielder Nicky Butt back.

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