Christian Pulisic has divulged the odd details of his first meeting with his Chelsea teammates, and has delivered a heartfelt message to former boss Jurgen Klopp.
The American, 21, arrived at Stamford Bridge in the summer after previously signing on the dotted line for a fee of around £58m in the transfer window prior.
Despite brief glimpses of the talents that secured him a headline-grabbing move to Borussia Dortmund as a teenager, Pulisic has endured a subdued debut season in the Premier League.
Things haven’t always gone to plan for Pulisic on the pitch, and he has now revealed how things got off to somewhat of a rocky start during pre-season.
“It was all pretty crazy what happened,” said Pulisic. “I had to fly straight from my summer break right after the 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’.
“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.
“I had to go in on 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.”
Pulisic’s message for Klopp
His breakthrough on the European football scene came at Dortmund while the club were under the stewardship of current Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp.
Revealing his thanks for the opportunity afforded to him by Klopp, Pulisic recounted the story of the first time he trained with the club’s star-studded first-team.
“I’m getting ready, going to training and it’s just unreal,” he continued (via the Daily Express).
“I was 16 or 17 and I’m going in the warm-up and there’s huge names at the time.
“There’s [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang, Marco Reus, Matts Hummels, [Henrikh] Mkhitaryan. All these guys and they were just in the Champions League final the year before.
“It’s like I’m going in and I’m just this 16-year-old kid. I was thinking just do my best. I was just so excited and I’m just thankful to Jurgen Klopp that he gave me that opportunity.
“I’ll take that with me forever and I’m really grateful.”
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