European soccer’s January transfer window is barely a day old, but already a high-profile signing has been announced with American soccer star Christian Pulisic signing for English Premier League side Chelsea for a fee in excess of $73 million.
The move from Borussia Dortmund to Chelsea makes the 20-year-old — widely touted as one of the world’s best young players — the most expensive American player in history.
“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 said on social media.
Pulisic, who joined Dortmund’s academy in 2015 and made his first team debut aged 17, will remain on loan with the Bundesliga outfit until the end of the season.
‘Been an honor to wear the black and yellow’
“It feels like only yesterday that I arrived in Dortmund as a raw, excited, very nervous but exceptionally proud 16-year-old from a small American town called Hershey,” Pulisic — the youngest goalscorer in U.S Soccer history — added.
“I had no idea what lay ahead but I soon discovered that as a young Schwarzgelben, I would be in the best possible hands.
“I would not be where I am today without the Club and their belief in giving young players a chance. It’s been an honor and a dream to pull on the black-and-yellow in front of the Südtribüne [the famous south end of Dortmund’s stadium].”
Pulisic has earned 23 caps for the US national team, scoring nine times. He has made 80 appearances for table-topping Dortmund but has faced competition this season for a starting berth following the emergence of 18-year-old Englishman Jadon Sancho.
In a statement, Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia said: ‘We are delighted to have signed one of Europe’s most sought-after young players.
“Christian has shown his quality during a fantastic spell in Germany and at just 20, we believe he has the potential to become an important Chelsea player for many years to come.
“We look forward to welcoming him to Stamford Bridge in the summer and wish him and Dortmund every success for the remainder of the season.”
For Dortmund, meanwhile, the club’s management felt Chelsea’s offer was one that couldn’t be turned down.
“It was always Christian’s biggest dream to play in the Premier League. It’s something to do with his American background and consequently it wasn’t possible to extend his contract,” said sporting director Michael Zorc.
“He stressed it was with this in mind that we have decided — in view of the small amount of time his contract has to run — to accept the extremely lucrative offer from Chelsea.
“Christian is by character an impeccable player. I’m sure that he will do everything in the coming months to bring his quality to the team and to help them to achieve their sporting goals with his teammates at Borussia Dortmund.”