Chelsea’s Christian Pulisic has spoken out about his difficult start to life at Stamford Bridge and how his new teammates blanked him on his first day of training during the Blues’ pre-season tour of Japan last summer.
American star Pulisic signed in January 2019 before Chelsea’s transfer ban was imposed, but officially joined last summer from Borussia Dortmund for £58m after staying with the German side on loan for the remainder of the season.
However, a combination of injuries and squad rotation has meant he’s struggled for a solid run in the first team during his debut season thus far.
Speaking on the 13&ME podcast, Pulisic revealed he had to cut short his usual summer holiday to resume training with his new club and had very little rest before the season.
“It was all pretty crazy what happened,” said the winger. “I had to fly straight from my summer break right after the [CONCACAF] Gold Cup. I had one week off and I didn’t really get a summer.
“The team had already started pre-season in Japan so I flew straight there and I had to literally fly by myself and then met the team who had flown from London. I had to go straight to the hotel and the next thing on the schedule was to go straight to training. I was tired, nervous and didn’t know what to think but, ‘I’m at Chelsea and this is insane’.
Pulisic also revealed he didn’t get the warmest of welcomes from his new team, adding: “I got on the bus, they had just arrived as well. Everyone is half asleep, I go and sit on the bus and nobody even noticed me. Nobody said anything. There were maybe one or two guys who said ‘hey hello’ and I was like, ‘what’s going on here?’
“Those first couple of days of training I was nervous. You know how it’s like when you move to a new team. They’re nice guys off the field but to earn that respect you have to show on the field you have that ability, that’s just how it is.”
Pulisic eventually broke into the first team and scored a memorable hat-trick during Chelsea’s strong start to the Premier League season but admitted during the pre-season tour it took a few days to be accepted into the fold.
He added: “It took until day three when I had a really good training, scored some goals, had some nice plays and assists and then I felt the guys coming and talking to me and getting their respect. It’s interesting how it works but they’ve been great guys and I’ve enjoyed it.”