Since moving to AC Milan, Christian Pulisic has shone, and a well-respected manager has offered his expertise as to how the Rossoneri can profit more from the American’s abilities.
Since making the move to Milan, Pulisic has become his old self, if not a better version. The winger has refound his confidence, and with that has come several contributions that have proved to be pivotal for the Diavolo, and has by far been the best acquisition of the summer mercato.
His influence will be felt in the changing room too, whilst he is not a senior player in terms of age, he has eight seasons of Champions League experience, including this season’s campaign. As a result, he will know the expectations for players in an elite environment, and will likely push for those standards at the club.
His fellow compatriot Jesse Marsch spoke to CBS about where Stefano Pioli can get more out of the winger, and his words have been relayed by RadioRossonera.
Where can Pulisic improve?
“I dwell on four aspects in particular. The first concerns some of his positioning in the build-up phase, then I’ll move on to the cross-phase, a couple more things on transition and the last is just to highlight some other positive things.
“In particular, I am referring to the fact that Chris [Christian Pulisic] always gives everything and tries every time to do what he can to help the team. And defensively he makes a difference and, therefore, also without the ball,” he said.
The examples given take us to the last Milan-Bologna match, highlighted in the 68th minute:
“When the ball turns in defence, you can see that Christian is already nodding to offload to Musah. I think what they want from him is to go wide on the touchline, but especially when they win the ball or in general when they build I think to stay more inside the game for him it would be better not to be there all the time. And that’s what I’m referring to.
“Sometimes he could swap with the full-back and get more inside the pitch. I’d like to see him look more for space between or behind the opponent’s midfield line. That way he could receive and go vertically.”
The second instance is in the 76th minute, at 1-1:
“Here he is in what we call the red zone: between the opponent’s midfield and defence. Here he wants to look for the ball and, of course, he does it by going close to his team-mate. If he was further away he could be an offensive player and no longer just a link player.”
Another situation: Florenzi receives the ball on the right, and Pulisic cuts towards the front post but is not served…
“This is what I mean about Milan. As I said before, where is Leao right now? They’re playing at home and it’s 1-1, I’d like to see more presence in the area. There are not enough players in the area. Even when it’s Pulisic who crosses, there are 3 players in the area and some arrive late.”
“There is a counter-attack here: he makes this curved run of 30, 40 metres. He has to be more efficient and vertical when he attacks and accelerates forward. When they recover the ball they can be really dangerous on the counter-attack, so I say: let him play further forward.”
Finally, praise on the defensive phase…
“If they lose the ball around midfield and he is 10-15 metres behind the line of the ball: he chases Zirkzee and helps to get it back. This video should always be shown to the team, in my opinion.”