Liverpool have been quiet in the transfer window since the season started and it was a surprise when news broke on Friday night that they had submitted an £11 million bid for Borussia Dortmund midfielder Christian Pulisic. The US international is only 17 years old and it would be an extraordinary fee to pay for a player of his age. It will be a difficult deal to complete before the transfer deadline, but it shows that Jurgen Klopp wants to build for the future after signing a new long term deal earlier in the summer.
The teenager joined Dortmund’s academy when Jurgen Klopp was manager and he will know the talent that Pulisic possesses. He is thought to be a potentially world class player and has already made major strides in senior football. Last season he made nine Bundesliga appearances for Dortmund, scoring two goals in the process. He is well thought of at the German club and they won’t want to sell him, especially to their former manager.
Pulisic has had an interesting route to senior football, moving to Europe at a tender age after being scouted by Dortmund in his native US. He had to apply for a Croatian citizenship to make the move possible, which he was eligible for through his grandfather. It was a risk for him to move very early into his career, but it has proved to be a great decision.
There are problems with the US system and they have yet to produce a world class player. Pulisic represents their best chance of doing that and he has benefited hugely from learning the game in Europe. There will be more US players moving to Europe to join proven academies and this should have a positive knock on effect for the national team.
The midfielder has already broken into the US senior squad and featured in the Copa America on home soil, which capped a remarkable rise during the 2015/16 season. During the summer with his country, he scored against Bolivia in a friendly match. The sport has progressed a lot in the US and the emergence of Pulisic shows that they are starting to produce players that a country of their size deserve.
He has caught the eye and is the young player that regular watchers of the Bundesliga are most excited about. Pulisic became the fourth youngest Bundesliga scorer, living up to the hype during his first season in senior football.
The teenager is an exciting player to watch and plays the game brimming with confidence. It would have been easy for him to have been cautious after being given a chance in the first team, but he played with the same freedom as he did in the youth teams. He is direct and loves to run at defences. His close ball control combined with his skill make him a nightmare to defend against. He was one of the best players to watch in the league.
His movement off the ball is intelligent and he often finds pockets of space in the final third. An important part of the modern game is defensive work rate and Pulisic possesses that already. Some young players overlook their work off the ball, but Pulisic doesn’t, which once again shows maturity beyond his years.
It is going to be a difficult deal for Liverpool to complete as he is settled at Dortmund and the German club don’t want to lose their best young player. They have managed him well since bringing him over from the US. His younger brother is also at the club and the environment created has allowed him to excel. It would be a huge coup if Liverpool manage to bring him to the club and it would create excitement among the fan-base, but it won’t be easy.
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