Chelsea winger Christian Pulisic is good enough for a future move to Real Madrid or Barcelona, according to USA coach Greg Berhalter.
The 21-year-old had a difficult start to life in the Premier League but eventually hit top form and became one of Frank Lampard’s key players as he helped the team finish fourth and secure a Champions League spot.
He finished with 11 goals and five assists in all competitions, including an electric run towards the end of the restart as he wrapped up the campaign with three goals in his last six games.
Berhalter believes Pulisic’s impact in England shows he is a ‘leader’, and says if he keeps up his scintellating form he could soon interest some of the biggest clubs in world football – including the likes of Madrid, Barcelona or Bayern Munich.
‘Pulisic is a leader at Chelsea at 21,’ he told German outlet Bild.
‘It doesn’t happen that often that a player from the Bundesliga goes to a top club in England and immediately convinces there.
‘Christian quickly got used to the speed and the more physical style of playing in England. He is a role model for all other US players in the Bundesliga whose goal is the Premier League.
‘Christian is perfect for Chelsea. All dangerous offensive actions run through him, he shines as a goalscorer and as a preparer.
‘If Christian maintains this level, he can also play for the biggest clubs in the world like Bayern, Barcelona or Real Madrid without any problems.’
Pulisic has 161 career appearances already after bursting onto the scene with Borussia Dortmund. He was linked with a number of top sides after some eye-catching displays in Germany, but Chelsea moved quickly to wrap up a £58m deal.
Berhalter is fortunate to have a few talented USA players, and Gio Reyna – who also started his career as Dortmund – has been earmarked as one of the brightest stars of the future.
The 17-year-old played 18 games under Lucien Favre last season, scoring once in the German Cup. Berhalter has not yet picked him for call-up to the USA senior squad, but praised his maturity and ‘greed’ to win games despite being so young.
‘Reyna has a great mentality. He’s still a teenager but plays like an old hand. He has this greed to always win everything and to want to improve in every training session.
‘You could already see this professional attitude in him as a teenager. At BVB he now has a great chance of starting a great career. And I am sure he will use it.
‘What he shows in Dortmund is fantastic. But the other US boys in Europe are also doing great. We have some great talent.’