There have been many U.S. soccer players who have found success in the English Premier League from Clint Dempsey at Fulham and Tottenham to Cobi Jones making headlines with Coventry City in the 1990s.
In the last few years, there have been precious few American stars making their way to the Premier League from the USA with Germany’s Bundesliga being the main attraction. Things look set to change in the coming years with the United States international Christian Pulisic arriving at London’s Chelsea to bring with him an army of U.S. football fans.
There is little doubt the English Premier League has benefited from the switch to NBC from Fox where it was shown behind paywalls far from the reach of the majority of the public. However, the lack of U.S. players breaking through did limit the growth of football in the United States where fans often look for homegrown players to support each match day. The long-awaited arrival of Pulisic in the Premier League from Germany’s Dortmund has seen the Hershey-born player become the most expensive American player by a country mile following his $73 million transfer to Stamford Bridge in January 2018.
Pulisic had been a key figure for Dortmund for the last two seasons despite only being 20-years-of-age. Fans in the United States have rarely seen a player purchased to take the place of a global superstar, such as Eden Hazard who left Chelsea for Real Madrid in the recent summer transfer window. The hope among fans is that Pulisic will develop along the lines of Belgian international Hazard and become one of the world’s best-attacking players. There is little doubt Chelsea are entering a positive era in terms of their younger players with a FIFA-imposed transfer ban meaning they cannot sign players for the current season leaving them reliant on youth players and the existing squad.
The departure of Eden Hazard left a gaping hole in the Chelsea squad that Pulisic and Chelsea-trained youngsters Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham are expected to fill. Pulisic is being slowly introduced into the Chelsea first team as he is prepared for a future in the Premier League which is notoriously faster and tougher than players from Germany are used to. Mount and Abraham have both played in the English Championship meaning they are better prepared for the rigors of an English Premier League season and have already gained a relationship with Chelsea Head Coach Frank Lampard and his assistant Jody Morris.
Opening up the gambling markets across the U.S. has seen a move towards betting on the Premier League in the USA. In areas where sports betting has already been legalized the topflight of English soccer is a major draw for punters looking to gamble on games each Saturday morning. Betting on individual games and getting the best odds for bets such as the first coach to be fired or the top goalscorer comes seasons end.
Christian Pulisic is currently an outside bet at the odds for the prestigious young player of the year in England but could be worth a few dollars bet if he gets up and running quickly as a key part of the Chelsea attack.