Almost three years ago, the Times‘ Paul Joyce said Jurgen Klopp had been looking at signing Christian Pulisic but wasn’t impressed by his attacking output.
The Northern Football correspondent wrote on 1 August 2018: “If you crunch the numbers, then it becomes clear why Liverpool — and specifically Klopp, given his inside knowledge of the player and his former club — would baulk at making a bid at that price.”
The American winger would then move to Chelsea for a figure of €64million and since then, he hasn’t exactly established himself as one of the top wingers in the Premier League.
Don’t get me wrong, Pulisic is a top player and at 22, he has plenty of room to grow but since he moved to Stamford Bridge, he hasn’t scored at the same rate that Liverpool’s forwards have.
In 66 games, Pulisic has scored 16 goals and assisted another 12 for his teammates while Sadio Mane, who signed for £34m in 2016, has scored 93 and assisted 41 goals at a rate of 0.6 goals or assists per 90.
While it’s not a perfect comparison, if Pulisic had played the same number of games, he would still be 44 goal involvements behind and cost double what Mane did. Jurgen Klopp’s decision to pass on signing Pulisic at that price was the right decision.
Although it wasn’t something I was on board with at the time back when I was writing for Rousing the Kop. I was really keen to see Liverpool sign the American but looking back, he hasn’t really been missed all that much.
Injuries have hampered his progress and a lack of managerial consistency has made things that little bit more difficult but now with Thomas Tuchel in charge, he may well be able to succeed as he hasn’t yet.
He has three goals and an assist in his last four games for Chelsea, including a Man of the Match display against Crystal Palace at the weekend.