AC Milan winger Christian Pulisic has shared his feelings on moving to Serie A and the way that fellow former Chelsea players Fikayo Tomori and Olivier Giroud were able to help him.
Speaking during an interview with The Athletic at Milanello, Pulisic was very honest about how he has settled into things in a new country and the people who have helped him along the way.
When asked how he is getting on in his first season with the club, Pulisic simply said: “I’m enjoying it a lot. I’ve been given a great opportunity here.”
He also had it put to him that he arrived in Milan when two of his former Chelsea teammates were already at the club, Tomori and Giroud, and Ruben Loftus-Cheek was also arriving from the Premier League club.
“That made it a lot easier,” Pulisic said.
Pulisic got his first goal for the club in August against Bologna, for which he linked with Giroud very nicely. On that goal, the American said: “I know a lot of his tendencies, he knows mine. It’s been great to play off him. Things like that are only going to help with the chemistry within the team and get me accustomed to a new team, a new league.”
Pulisic is one of two Americans who are now in the Milan first team, as he arrived in the same summer as midfielder Yunus Musah. He has nothing but praise for the former Valencia man, who is fluent in Italian having been raised near Venice.
“He’s an incredible kid,” Pulisic said. “I love playing with him in the national team. It’s great now to see him day-to-day. If I don’t understand something, he’s there to help me out. He’s teaching me a bit of everything. Mostly the footballing stuff I need to know.”
Playing on the right
“I’ve learned a lot, especially playing off the right side. I’ve learned a lot about finding the right times to come inside. I’ve improved with my weaker foot as well and in finding the right solutions, the right times to run in behind, when to show to feet. I’ve really improved tactically about the game in that sense,” he said.
“From a defensive point of view as well, I think I’ve improved and I feel good about helping the team defensively whether it’s pressing or covering the right spaces. Some things I’ve definitely seen a change in in coming to Italy.”
Whether Milan are in the title race or not…
“There’s still half a season to go, so that doesn’t seem fair. We’re still going to push on and do our best. We still have lots to play for. We’re still in the Europa League (they have a two-leg play-off next month against French club Rennes over a place in that competition’s last 16). There are many games left in the league this season, so we’re not at all discouraged by what’s going on. We’re going to continue to push and win games and hopefully make our fans proud.”
On an eventual return to the USA in MLS
“Obviously, I’m not an old player. I hopefully have some great years in Europe ahead of me. I’m loving my time here, so of course MLS is not in my head at the moment. But, yeah. At the end of my career? Absolutely.
“I will say, it’s come a long, long way from when I first started even… almost, what, 10 years (ago) when I moved to Europe. Where the game has come in the US from then, even MLS to where it is now, I’ve seen a massive change just as far as the support in the US; you know, getting behind the national team and even the clubs now seeing Messi in Miami, things like that. There’s just so much buzz around the sport and I think it’s only going to get better in the next few years.”