It seems that any young player, showing even a hint of promise, will eventually be linked with a move to the Premier League. Christian Pulisic, the crown jewel of the new U.S. development program, was one of those players. After rumors of interest from Liverpool, Pulisic has signed a new contract with Borussia Dortmund that has the young American locked down until 2020. For now, rumors of his departure will be put on hold.
Pulisic’s decision to stay with Dortmund for the foreseeable future seems to be the right move for every party. The 18-year old will continue to develop with one of Europe’s best teams. Dortmund’s record of bringing through young talent is world renowned. If Pulisic were to move to a team like Liverpool there is no indication his development would stall but at Dortmund, he’ll definitely continue to grow in a comfortable environment.
Playing time might have been a key factor in the Pennsylvania native’s decision to stay with BVB. While the glitz and glamor of the Premier League might have been tempting, he’d likely not get the same playing time. This season, Pulisic has played more than Mario Gotze, Shinji Kagawa and Andre Schurrle. While some of those players have dealt with injury, there is no denying Pulisic has earned his spot to feature frequently in Thomas Tuchel’s team. Pulisic has scored twice and added five assists this season.
This is generally very good news for the USMNT as well. Pulisic is going to be the cornerstone of the national team for years to come. His extension should excite many of his coaches and teammates. The best thing for a teenager to do is to get game time. Dortmund gave Pulisic the best opportunity for minutes. The only option that would see the 18-year-old increase his playing time is if he moved to a much smaller team. Plenty of those teams exist, but Pulisic’s ambitions should have him looking forward.
[link_box id=”23231″ site_id=”158″ layout=”link-box-third” alignment=”alignright”]Playing in the Bundesliga, along with other USMNT players also makes good sense for the teenager. Americans have made a good impression in Germany in recent years. Short of moving to MLS, Pulisic gets to play against his national teammates in a league that has been very accepting. Bobby Wood, John Brooks and Fabian Johnson have all made positive impacts on their clubs. With Pulisic at Dortmund, many Americans have made good use of Germany’s terrific youth facilities.
The USMNT now wants to see Pulisic take the next step. He’ll be pushed at Dortmund, as they have a remarkable collection of young talent eager for the same opportunity as Pulisic. If he stumbles, he could see his playing time drastically cut, but as of now, he’s shown no signs of slowing down.
Tuchel has shown tremendous faith in the young midfielder. It’s rare that a team with such lofty expectations would put their trust in someone so young. But Pulisic has shown his coach that he’s not only very talented but very ambitious. With his contract expiring next summer, Pulisic could have forced a move to one of England’s elite. He certainly had his suitors.
It would have fit his ambition to run off and join someone like Liverpool, it would have certainly made him more money as well. But Pulisic’s ambition seems to be all about getting better on the field. If he keeps growing he’ll go down as one of America’s all-time greats, some day. The best place for the American to grow is at Dortmund right now. Pulisic avoided the temptation of England for now, and he’ll get to focus on his game at a place that must feel like home away from home.