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Graham Potter Says 'No Chance' Christian Pulisic Leaves Chelsea After Injury

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 13, 2023

NOTTINGHAM, ENGLAND - JANUARY 01: Christian Pulisic of Chelsea inspects the pitch prior to the Premier League match between Nottingham Forest and Chelsea FC at City Ground on January 01, 2023 in Nottingham, England. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)
Marc Atkins/Getty Images

Chelsea manager Graham Potter ruled out a January move involving American star Christian Pulisic because of the 24-year-old's knee injury.

Potter explained a midseason loan was never pondered by the club and that there's "no chance" now in part because the player will be sidelined for a couple of months.

Mirror Football @MirrorFootball

"He had a problem with his back after Manchester City." 🗣️<br><br>Chelsea manager Graham Potter spoke ahead of the Crystal Palace game, he revealed Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was struggling with a back problem and Christian Pulisic is out for a couple of months ⬇️ <a href="https://t.co/mQxuVDnvCA">pic.twitter.com/mQxuVDnvCA</a>

"He's disappointed," the manager said. "He's optimistic that he can come back quicker than the two months, so he's in that phase where he's just trying to keep his fingers crossed and hopefully his rehab goes well."

You can't help but wonder if Pulisic would like a mulligan on his transfer to Stamford Bridge from Borussia Dortmund. Few would argue he has met expectations at the club.

The managerial turnover at Chelsea hasn't helped.

When Pulisic spoke about his impending transfer in January 2019, he said he was "looking forward to working with Maurizio Sarri and his technical team." By the time he finally put the shirt on, though, Frank Lampard had replaced Sarri as manager. Since then, the club has moved on to Thomas Tuchel and now Potter, who's already under fire following a shaky start.

Pulisic has also watched all of those coaches sign a series of attackers, who provided more and more competition for playing time. Portuguese star João Félix is the newest example, having arrived on loan from Atlético Madrid.

Compounding matters, every time the United States men's national team veteran starts to build some momentum, he suffers a minor injury that undoes all of his progress.

Through four seasons, Pulisic has made 90 Premier League appearances, but only 56 have come from the start.

A loan theoretically would've allowed the 24-year-old to start fresh elsewhere and occupy a more meaningful role on the pitch.

Based on Potter's comments, that avenue wasn't pondered by Chelsea officials, and the knee injury makes the point moot anyway.

Pulisic will have to focus on his recovery and hope he can make an impact for the Blues across the rest of this season, when he's healthy enough to play again.