Thomas Tuchel explains Christian Pulisic role as wing-back for Chelsea vs Arsenal
Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel explained why he played Christian Pulisic as a wing-back against Arsenal (h/t Metro). The USA international featured as a right wing-back as Chelsea kept their preseason on the go.
Christian Pulisic joined the club amid much fan-fare in 2019 but it was not until the latter stages that he started performing. Last season, Pulisic blew hot and cold but slowly got into the rhythm as the business end approached.
Despite playing a starring role in Chelsea’s run-up to the Champions League, Pulisic was not given starts in the final two games. He has often been forced to play out of position in Tuchel’s setup. Without out-and-out wingers, Pulisic has had to slot in as a wing-back at times.
Tuchel had to play Pulisic as a wingback due to the absence of key players
As Chelsea picked up a solid win over Arsenal in the preseason, Pulisic again featured in a wingback role. Thomas Tuchel had his reasons for the same and explained them.
“He played there with me at Dortmund and we played many times like this with Callum. Marcos wasn’t able to play today so we put Callum on the left side, which I wanted to see from a long time. Callum can maybe be more dangerous from this position coming inside which he loves, and which he did today. So you know our situation.
“We have Azpi and Reece for this position [right wing-back] but Azpi only started two days ago and Reece hasn’t even started yet. So we need solutions because we start on the 11th against Villarreal and on the 14th is the season. We can’t try things then so now is the time to see. It was the possibility to give him some minutes and from here we go on.”
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It’s hard to say if Pulisic will feature more as a winger or wing-back once all the players are back to full fitness. For now, it seems as if it was a stop-gap measure in the absence of regular players. Pulisic’s talents could be wasted in a defensive role and he needs to play in his natural winger position.
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