Christian Pulisic admits to ‘tough’ time at Chelsea after playing out of position

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 (Chelsea FC via Getty Images)
(Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

Christian Pulisic says matters at Chelsea have been “tough” and have affected him mentally, as he attempts to cope with not seeing to be a guaranteed starter under Thomas Tuchel in a favoured wide role.

The versatility the USA international offers naturally means he has more chance of featuring overall, but it has perhaps also contributed to him not being a go-to figure in the side at Stamford Bridge, often used as an impact sub or rotated around the side according to need.

Recently, he has been wing-back, centre-forward and in a supporting role, as Chelsea battle injury absences and a few tactical changes from the manager. That was followed by two successive games, the draw with Brighton and the win over Tottenham, where he didn’t make it off the bench at all.

Pulisic acknowledged that it has been a tough situation to deal with and the 23-year-old is rather more enjoying international duty as a result.

“Obviously it has been up and down this year, for sure. Not exactly where I want to be and how I want things to be right now. I’m just going to keep going and it doesn’t affect me when I come here. So I am excited to be here,” he said to NBC Sports.

“When I come to the national team it is ‘How are things with Chelsea?’ and ‘What’s this’ and ‘What’s that.’ It’s tough, it is tough. Mentally it has played on me at times but I am always very excited to be on the national team and get to enjoy playing with these guys and just enjoy football in general.”

Once this short break is over, though, it’ll be back to Stamford Bridge and back to trying to find consistency in his game, as he looks to win back a place in the team - in a role he’s more comfortable in.

That means going up against the likes of Kai Havertz, Hakim Ziyech and Callum Hudson-Odoi to try and become a starter in the roles wide of striker Romelu Lukaku, as the Blues attempt to claw back ground in the title race.

“It is tough. I haven’t always been playing in the positions I want to play in. But I think it is a good quality to be versatile and able to play in all kinds of positions and have different strengths on the pitch.

“I’ve learned a lot and I’m ready to hopefully be in a spot over the next few games that I’m more comfortable in.”

Pulisic has three goals this season from his 19 appearances, all coming in the Premier League - his last one against Liverpool on 2 January.

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