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Why Christian Pulisic could actually make sense at Juventus

With the constraints imposed on the Old Lady, a move for the American could check a few boxes.

Chelsea FC v Real Madrid: Quarterfinal Second Leg - UEFA Champions League Photo by James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images

Given the precarious state of the Juventus sporting director position, any and all conjecture regarding transfers is absolutely a fool’s errand. Luckily for you, I’m a fool, and I don’t mind running errands at all.

With the recent rumors swirling around that the Old Lady might be interested in Chelsea forward Christian Pulisic, I’m here to tell you something that will probably make you peeved: this potential move kind of makes sense.

Don’t get mad; just hear me out.

Stop me if you’ve heard this before

Pulisic can play either wing or central forward, the last position of which he’s, in my estimation, better than Federico Chiesa and might have an interesting future. I also think he could play well alongside a striker in a 3-5-2. I guess if Max Allegri is still around next season, we could also see him at wingback! (He actually played some wingback at Chelsea, hilariously.)

In all seriousness, while Pulisic is not one of the best wingers in the world, he’s a talented player with a chip on his shoulder. He’s shifty, can beat his man with a dribble, and also has another trait that Juventus could use more of: speed.

All that may not necessarily a good thing regarding his position, but here’s one thing you can count on with the American: he’s got grinta. You’re never going to find him shirking his defensive responsibilities; he’s the kind of player who leaves his guts on the field. I don’t know about you, but that’s a quality that’s seemingly increasingly hard to find, and it’s a quality that will help Juventus next year.

Not only does Pulisic have grinta, and enough to spare, especially when playing for the US, but after what could probably be classified either as a “failed” or, at least, “not particularly successful” stint at Chelsea, he’s going to be out to prove he can play for a top club. Whoever gets this kid (he’s 24!) is going to get a very, very motivated player.

Unlocking his compatriot

The loanee return situation is going to be a lengthy and complicated story in its own right, one that will, like this and all other transfer rumors, unfold (hopefully not “unravel”) in the coming weeks and months, but one thing is probably certain: at least one loanee, possibly multiple, will be staying in Turin. If that happens to be Weston McKennie, then the Pulisic pursuit makes all the more sense.

These are the facts: McKennie and Pulisic are both 24, they’re both American, they’re friends, and they probably have both played their best football for their country. I think pairing them on the same team would not only raise the happiness level of both players but also the competitive spirit of each.

All that said, McKennie did not really dazzle in his time here (nor at Leeds, for that matter), and certainly the feeling is that the club will try to find an alternative solution for the midfielder. But if a few ifs happen to transpire, this could pan out.

The red flag

There is one aspect about Pulisic, however, that might render all of the above totally moot: the American is fairly injury-prone. While he hasn’t had the big injuries too frequently, he’s been nagged by smaller ones pretty consistently; although he’s played at least 20 games in the Premier League and Bundesliga every season after 2015-16, he’s only played more than 30 once (2017-18) and more than 25 three times in the last seven years, the last being 2020-21.

I understand the arguments of not wanting Pulisic, but the reality of the situation is that Juventus, given the financial state of matters, is in a position where it needs to take some risks on “discount” situations. The kid is talented, he’s going to be on a position to prove the doubters wrong, and with the 2026 World Cup largely played in the United States, the Pennsylvania native is going to be very focused on winning and playing well.

With the sporting director position in limbo (not to mention, apparently, the coaching situation), rumors like this are bound to come and go as quickly as the wildflowers bloom and die in the foothills of Boise in the early spring. But whether Juventus actually pursue Pulisic or not, whether this rumor dies in 24 hours or six weeks, I firmly believe this is the type of profile the club will need to pursue to fill several voids, and I guarantee you there are a lot worse names than this one that will be floated in the coming months.