Chelsea today unveiled the announcement of Christian Pulisic for a reported £59 million fee from Borussia Dortmund, making him their second most expensive outfield player of all time, after Alvaro Morata.
The American’s rise in the Bundesliga has been swift, and Chelsea beat a host of rivals to snatch the signing. However, the 20-year-old will first return to Dortmund on loan for the remainder of the season, allowing a for a final stage in his development before making his move to the Premier League.
However, the move has raised further doubts and concerns over Chelsea’s youth system and their development of young (and often English) talent. One such player, the exceedingly talented Callum Hudson-Odoi, must be looking over his shoulder wondering what he’s done wrong. The 18-year-old man from London has received great interest from German giants Bayern Munich this window, and they are reported to be preparing an increased bid of £30 million to really test Chelsea’s resolve.
But many Chelsea fans are left wondering what the signing of youngsters from abroad for over-inflated fees must be doing to the confidence of the talented players currently battling through the various youth tournaments they’re involved in. Famously, Chelsea haven’t really had a breakthrough player from their own youth set up since John Terry way back when, and whilst the likes of Nathan Aké and Ruben Loftus-Cheek have made inroads, with the latter growing more and more into Mauricio Sarri’s plans as of late, blues’ fans are yet to see a homegrown player become a mainstay in the starting XI.
When Pulisic arrives, along with his large transfer fee, the owner and fans would expect him to play so that he can begin to pay off such a huge investment. However, that only pushes the likes of Hudson-Odoi further down the pecking order, and further towards the exit door in search of the first team opportunities he so desperately craves.
A further worry to Chelsea fans would be the future of Eden Hazard. The impeccable Belgian has been in fine form this season, and has long been linked with a move to Spanish giants Real Madrid. And with Pulisic likely to play in a similar form to Hazard, this signing may only be to alleviate the pain of a potential summer move to Chelsea fans.
Pulisic undoubtedly has talent, and to force his way into Dortmund at such a young age not only shows phenomenal drive and ability, but also a willingness to throw himself in at the deep end. Nevertheless, what will worry Chelsea fans is the further repercussions the move could have for those they hold even more dear.