Tuchel: Pulisic needs to earn his spot in my Chelsea team
Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has confirmed that Christian Pulisic remains a part of his plans at the club but that the player needs to take his chances and earn his spot in the team.
Pulisic, like a number of Chelsea’s young players, has seen his previous role at the club change dramatically under the new manager.
Tuchel has not only changed the team’s tactics since replacing Frank Lampard at Stamford Bridge in January but has also dropped or reintroduced players into the starting XI based on his own opinion of their talents and performances.
One such player that has struggled for game time under Tuchel is Pulisic, who has failed to make a single Premier League start and racked up just 134 minutes of game time since the new manager arrived.
However, while Tuchel was quick to dismiss any rumours of Pulisic being surplus to requirements at Stamford Bridge, he admitted that the player had to prove that he was capable of nailing down a regular spot in the team.
“When you sign and play for Chelsea, it’s part of the job description to be patient and impatient at the same time,” the Chelsea manager said at a press conference on Friday. “All of my players are competitors and they want to play every minute.
“At the same time, when you’re not selected, you have to stay patient and not lose confidence.
“When it was possible for him to start around Sheffield United and Barnsley, one game came too soon and Barnsley wasn’t easy.”
He added: “If you turn it around, it’s the duty of the players to show up and really earn to play. This is what Christian does.
“I feel him in the last few days, very positive and doing the very best in his situation.”
Could Pulisic leave Chelsea this summer?
The winger’s lack of game time under Tuchel has naturally led to speculation over Pulisic’s future at Chelsea.
Although the London club have an abundance of wide, attacking talents, reports in England have recently suggested that Chelsea could turn to Bayern Munich winger Kingsley Coman as a potential upgrade on Pulisic next season.
However, Tuchel believes Pulisic has plenty of time to prove his worth to his new manager and the club.
“If he starts tomorrow and does brilliantly, if he starts against Atletico and does two goals, maybe he is the captain,” pondered Tuchel.
“I know what you mean but it’s too far ahead. We have many games and he is in my plans. He has the potential to be decisive for us from the bench.
“As a beginner, can he improve it? Yes. But his job is to be ready like everybody else.”