Liverpool head coach Jurgen Klopp has questioned the fee Chelsea paid to sign Christian Pulisic from Borussia Dortmund earlier in the year, but lauded the likes of Tammy Abraham, Mason Mount and Callum Hudson-Odoi while speaking ahead of the Blues’ trip to Anfield on Sunday, via quotes by the Liverpool Echo.
Chelsea paid a reported £58m (BBC) to sign Pulisic from Klopp’s former side Dortmund in January, but an immediate return to the Westfalenstadion on loan meant the West London outfit only got their first taste of what the United States international is capable of when the Premier League returned in August.
Chelsea’s deal with Dortmund for Pulisic saw the 21-year-old become the most expensive American player in history, eclipsing the fee Wolfsburg paid to sign John Brooks in 2017.
The Blues’ move also came with the clock ticking down on Pulisic’s contract in Germany, as the 32-cap international was set to become a free agent in the summer of 2020, which left Dortmund director Michael Zorc reluctantly accepting what he described as an ‘extremely lucrative’ offer.
Klopp has now suggested Chelsea paid over the top for a player he helped to develop, but is confident in Abraham, Mount and Hudson-Odoi being worth £50-60m, or even more.
“They brought in Christian Pulisic, I’m not sure 100% about the money, £50-60m or something like that,” the German noted at his pre-Chelsea press conference, via quotes by the Liverpool Echo. “All the players around him have the same value.
“Tammy Abraham is now a £60m player. Mason Mount, for sure, if not more. Hudson-Odoi was before that already.
“If there’s one club in the world who a transfer ban didn’t hit that bad, it was probably Chelsea because of the transfer policy they did in the last few years with all these players on loan, and high-quality players.”
Whether the fee Chelsea spent on Pulisic was money well used or wasted – like with their former British transfer record £50m (The Guardian) acquisition of Fernando Torres – remains to be seen, but the young American has started life in England on the cusp of being underwhelming.
A debut off the bench in the curtain-raiser thrashing at Manchester United, three starts in a row and an assist at Norwich City, but then dropped to the bench again for Chelsea’s trip to Wolverhampton Wanderers is how Pulisic’s Premier League career currently reads (TransferMarkt).
Lampard also overlooked the Dortmund product in his side’s Champions League defeat to Valencia during the week – even when Mount was forced off injured – with Willian replacing the Englishman instead, leading to the Blues boss fending questions after the game over the American winger’s future (Mirror).
It is surely too early to suggest the transfer was a flop or that his future is up for debate, but Pulisic could do with a string of eye-catching performances to justify the fee paid.
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