American standout Christian Pulisic came to AC Milan to revive his flagging club career, and he has made an encouraging start, having linked up with former Chelsea teammate Olivier Giroud.
Pulisic enjoyed a dream debut for his new club Monday when he scored a stunning goal and had a hand in the opener as Milan opened its season at Bologna with a 2-0 win.
That was away. This Saturday he steps out on the San Siro turf for the first time in the Rossoneri colors when Milan hosts Torino.
“I can’t imagine what it’s going to be like at home,” Pulisic said. “I was able to experience it last season when we played against Milan, and it’s going to be nice to have the fans on my side this time.”
Pulisic was an unused substitute last October when Chelsea played at San Siro in the Champions League group stage and beat Milan 2-0. That was a common position for Pulisic in his fourth season at Chelsea as he struggled for playing time.
Pulisic scored 26 goals in 145 games with the Blues and won the Champions League with them in 2021. But after netting 19 Premier League goals in his first three seasons, he had just one in 2022-23 — none in 20 matches after Oct. 8. He made just two starts after Jan. 5.
His best season was his first at Chelsea when he weighed in with 11 goals and 10 assists — a personal best. Some of the credit goes to Giroud, who was part of the attack. The duo still has an understanding.
At Bologna, Pulisic helped to set up the opener for Giroud and the Frenchman returned the favor. “I just remember driving at the back four and seeing Oli playing a nice one-two and then the only option was to shoot, and it was a perfect finish,” Pulisic said.
Giroud is not the only reunion of former Chelsea players for Pulisic. Fikayo Tomori came to the Rossoneri from Chelsea two years ago and Ruben Loftus-Cheek made the move last month.
There is also his U.S. teammate Yunus Musah, who arrived from Valencia in the offseason. Musah was suspended against Bologna and will be hoping to make his debut against Torino.
[Related: USMNT transfer tracker: Sergiño Dest loaned to PSV; Tyler Adams to Bournemouth]
Pulisic, Musah and Loftus-Cheek are among more than 10 new players Milan splashed cash on over the summer. Milan revolutionized its squad after reaching the Champions League semifinals and finishing fourth in Serie A last season — just a year after winning the Serie A.
“The new guys have come in with a lot of enthusiasm,” Milan coach Stefano Pioli said. “These are talented players. They don’t need time to develop, they’re ready because they’re coming from good teams and have a lot of experience.
“Of course, they’ll need time to adapt to such a unique and difficult league. But they’re showing the right attitude, hunger and spirit.”
Reporting by The Associated Press.
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