English soccer powerhouse Chelsea announced Wednesday that it has signed ascendant U.S. winger Christian Pulisic away from Borussia Dortmund after a $73.1 million transfer, more than three times the previous record for an American player. Chelsea will loan Pulisic back to the Bundesliga team for the remainder of the season before he joins the Blues for the 2019-20 Premier League season.
“In summer I move on to Chelsea and to a new competition, the English Premier League,” Pulisic said in a Chelsea-released statement. “It’s a privilege to have signed for such a legendary club and I look forward to working hard towards being a contributor to their team of world class players.”
Pulisic, 20, has been with Borussia Dortmund since joining its youth academy as a 16-year-old in February 2015 and soon was called up to the senior team. In April 2016, he became the youngest non-German and fourth-youngest player overall to score a goal in the Bundesliga, at just 17 years and 212 days old. A few weeks before that, Pulisic became the youngest American player ever to see the field in a World Cup qualifier, coming on as a substitute for the U.S. national team against Guatemala. On Nov. 20, he became the youngest player to captain the U.S. national team during a friendly against Italy, having turned 20 just two months earlier.
Pulisic expressed his gratitude toward Dortmund and its fans Monday on Twitter.
With only 18 months remaining on his Dortmund contract, Pulisic’s move to England was not unexpected. ESPN reported on Dec. 29 that Chelsea had made a bid exceeding $63 million to obtain the rising American star. Manchester United, Liverpool and Bayern Munich also were thought to have interest.
Dortmund is six points clear of Bayern Munich atop the Bundesliga standings, with Pulisic mostly coming off the bench for Manager Lucien Favre.
“It has always been Christian’s big dream to play in Premier League,” Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc said, per ESPN. “This certainly has something to do with his American origin, and thus we were not able to prolong his contract.
“Because of this background and with his contract running down in 2020, we decided to accept Chelsea’s incredibly lucrative offer.
“Christian Pulisic has a flawless character. I am sure he’ll will do all he can in the coming months to contribute his big qualities to the squad and achieve Borussia Dortmund’s sporting goals with his teammates.”
Pulisic’s $73.1 million transfer smashed the record for an American player, previously held by defender John Brooks upon his move from Hertha Berlin to Wolfsburg on a $22.5 million transfer in May 2017.
More from The Post