Although the winger enjoyed playing more when supporters could attend matches, he says he has been able to hone his craft in their absence
Chelsea star Christian Pulisic claims he’s “grown” as a player without fans in stadiums, while admitting that he “doesn’t really like attention”.
Pulisic has established himself as an important member of Chelsea’s squad since completing his £54 million ($74m) move to Stamford Bridge from Borussia Dortmund in June 2019.
Injuries have prevented the United States international from reaching his full potential in west London, but he has still managed to contribute 13 goals and 10 assists through 49 appearances across all competitions.
The 22-year-old’s latest outing came in a 1-0 victory over Fulham at the weekend, and he will be in line for a place in Frank Lampard’s starting XI once again when the Blues take in a trip to Leicester City on Tuesday night.
Pulisic only has one goal to his name so far this term, nine fewer than he managed by the end of the 2019-20 campaign, but he insists that he has been able to take his game to a new level in the absence of supporters.
The general public have been unable to attend matches for much of the season due to the coronavirus crisis, while all clubs across the country have had to adapt to new rules regarding testing and social distancing.
Pulisic says the main plus side of the pandemic has been that he has been taken out of the spotlight, as he told GQ Magazine: “It’s obviously changed a lot of things.
“It’s not as enjoyable to play with no fans. But in a way, I like it, because I don’t really like attention and all that stuff.
“And that’s also when I probably have grown the most as a player.”
Chelsea were attracted to Pulisic’s talents after seeing him shine at Dortmund, where he became the youngest American player to ever score in the Bundesliga.
The mercurial winger has also made his mark on the international stage, earning 34 caps for the U.S. national team, and he is now seen as the poster boy for the country’s next generation of footballing stars.
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Pulisic is embracing the pressure that comes with that reputation instead of shying away from it, as he added: “Going into a national-team game, I never thought that I need to perform because everyone is expecting me to be the best player.
“I would put pressure on myself because I wanted to do well. I wanted to be that player that everyone wanted me to be.”
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