USA legend tells Pulisic World Cup clash vs England can mend Chelsea career
Former United States international Eddie Lewis believes Christian Pulisic has an excellent opportunity to play his way back into the Chelsea team – or to his next major club.
The USA’s World Cup campaign endured a bumpy start after Wales pegged them back in the later stages of the contest to secure a frustrating draw. Pulisic provided a wonderful assist for Timothy Weah to slot home Gregg Berhalter’s side’s first goal of the tournament during a pulsating opening 45 minutes from the USA.
They will need to figure out how to maintain that level of performance when they take on an England side who trounced Iran 6-2. However, Lewis believes the crunch clash against Gareth Southgate side is the perfect opportunity for Pulisic to prove his doubters wrong and maybe even arouse the interest of some potential suitors.
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“I spent enough time in England playing to know the beauty is that it is easy for players for different reasons,” Berhalter said in an exclusive interview with Daily Star Sport, while promoting his immersive football experience TOCA Social. “Changes of managers, or whatever else, there are different reasons why things either work or didn’t work.
“The football in England is kind of a natural filter, if you are doing it and playing well, you are going to find a way into the team, one way or another. At the end of the day, it really just comes back down to him (Pulisic) proving it every single day, in training or in games.
“If he does that, he will play or he will find somewhere he will play. That’s really the simple fact of it all. Obviously, any time these guys can be playing it’s better than not playing.
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“So if he continues to not get any minutes, it’s going to be beneficial for him to move on. We’ll see how the World Cup shakes out and then we will go from there.” Only four of Pulisic’s 13 appearances have been as a starter for the west Londoners, who have endured an inconsistent and at times tumultuous season so far.
He has not been able to really assert himself under Thomas Tuchel or Graham Potter this season, with both managers preferring the likes of Mason Mount and Raheem Sterling.
However, Lewis, who also played for Leeds United, Fulham, and Derby County, while also racking up 82 appearances for the USA, believes his fellow countryman can alter the course of his season with a good performance against England.
“Absolutely, he’s definitely one of a few players really trying to get some of their careers back on track,” Lewis replied, when asked if Pulisic has a point to prove.
“Christian has had an up and down time at Chelsea for sure. He is the big name for the US. His influence on the game is critical, but, unlike a few other teams, I don’t think the US is really as dependent on one or two players.
“It will be how they perform as a group and as a unit that will determine how successful they will be.”
Eddie Lewis is also the co-founder of TOCA Social – the immersive football games and dining venue based at the 02 in London which has been highlighted as one of the top indoor venues in the UK to watch the World Cup. For bookings go to www.toca.social and follow on Instagram @tocasocial.
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