ATLANTA, GEORGIA—Christian Pulisic has had trouble adjusting to the Premier League, but Gareth Southgate told ESPN that he still sees him as a threat when England takes on the United States on November 25 at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
Since joining Chelsea for £58 million from Borussia Dortmund in 2019, Pulisic has had a mixed record, scoring 26 goals in 131 games. Under former head coach Thomas Tuchel, the 24-year-old won the Champions League in 2021; due to ongoing injury issues, more than half of his outings for Chelsea have been a substitute. Southgate stated in an exclusive interview with ESPN, “Since we had Jadon Sancho there at the time, I watched Pulisic at Dortmund quite a bit. After moving to Chelsea, I believe transitioning from the Bundesliga to the Premier League isn’t easy.
“When you play Bayern Munich or [Red Bull] Leipzig, the level of the biggest games is comparable, but as you move down the league, there is a significant difference in spending power between the bottom half of the Premier League, where they can essentially sign players from some of the biggest clubs in Europe, and the bottom half of the majority of other leagues in Europe, where that depth is lacking.
In February, Pulisic admitted to placing “too much pressure” on himself to “rescue” the USMNT. According to Southgate, the “Captain America” moniker Pulisic bears is subject to a comparable amount of scrutiny to that which leading several England stars underwent during his 57 appearances as a player and 76 matches as manager of his nation.
In terms of…, we had other outstanding players who you could argue were more influential for the team than some of those guys, but their world was different; I’ve been fortunate that I lived that life in an England camp with [Paul] Gascoigne at the start, with David Beckham, and with probably Wayne Rooney, Southgate said.