Chelsea star Christian Pulisic has admitted that repeated injuries have been holding back his career in the Premier League.
The American youngster was signed to huge fanfare after the Blues beat off a host of Europe’s elite clubs to take him from Borussia Dortmund, but Pulisic has only been able to showcase his abilities in flashes.
The 22-year-old hit the peak of his powers for a brief stint under former boss Frank Lampard at the end of the previous campaign, when an injury-free run saw the winger establish himself as one of the most ferocious attackers in the division.
His former boss Lampard heaped praise on the American, telling reporters he was now on ‘another level’ to the rest with an ‘incredible gift’. Since, however, Pulisic has struggled to establish himself under Thomas Tuchel because of nagging injuries.
Speaking this week to Chelsea’s official matchday programme, Pulisic said: ‘It definitely wasn’t easy for me. It’s been a tough year for a lot of reasons
‘Obviously, having injuries has been tough because I’ve been doing everything I can to take care of my body and just try to be right for every game, and it does hurt when I can’t be out there to help the team.’
Now, Pulisic is focusing on getting back into the Blues starting XI week-in, week-out, in order to prove to the Premier League and Champions League what he can do.
The latter competition sees Chelsea involved in the crucial stage, having progressed to the semi-finals following a two-legged victory over Porto.
Tuchel’s side will face Spanish giants Real Madrid, who booked their place in the last four after successfully navigating past Liverpool.
Pulisic admits he loves the competition, despite Chelsea recently being one of England’s six controversial top flight clubs to attempt to break away and form a European Super League.
Those plans have now died after all but two teams pulled out of the project, and Pulisic says the Champions League has always had a certain charm for him.
He added: ‘It’s the best time really when everyone focuses up and the games are usually really good.
‘Growing up, I loved watching the Champions League, and I always wanted to play in it, so it feels surreal in a way.’