Chelsea's Christian Pulisic open to new defensive switch - Thomas Tuchel

Posted Tuesday, August 03, 2021 by ESPN

Chelsea's Christian Pulisic open to new defensive switch - Thomas Tuchel
Christian Pulisic played in a deeper role on the right against Arsenal. Marc Atkins/Getty Images

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has hinted Christian Pulisic is open to featuring more regularly as a right wing-back this season following his change of role in the preseason friendly win over Arsenal.

Pulisic started the match at the Emirates Stadium, which Chelsea won 2-1, in a deeper role on the right wing before being replaced by Ross Barkley on 64 minutes.

Asked whether Pulisic's change of role was a one-off or could become a more permanent switch, Tuchel said after the match: "Maybe, maybe. He played with me in Dortmund and he played it many times.

"With Callum [Hudson-Odoi], Marcos [Alonso] was not able to play so we put Cally on the left side. It was something I wanted to see for a long time, if Callum can maybe be more dangerous from this position with some attributes inside, which he loves and did today."

Tuchel added: "In a normal situation we have Azpi [Cesar Azpilicueta] and Reece [James] for this position [right wing-back]. They are not here.

"Azpi started two days ago. Reece has not even started yet. We need to have solutions because we start on the 11th in the game against Villarreal and 14th is the season. We cannot not try things. Now is the time to see. It was the possibility to give him some minutes."

The friendlies against Arsenal and Tottenham have been organised with Mind to raise vital funds and promote mental health awareness and Pulisic said it is important to be in a good place mentally.

"Your mental health is so important," he told Chelsea's website. "'It's about being content with who you are as a person and for me it's about getting away from the game and finding the right balance.

"I'm always having to fight with everything that's going on with football, but also stepping away to make sure my mind is in a good place and I'm really just happy.

"When it's all on you, it can really feel like a lot. Even during this time, I reached out to a therapist and that's not something that anyone should ever be ashamed of. It's something that can help, just talking about the way that you're feeling.

'It's something that I've done personally and I've seen other people do as well. Getting it off your chest, speaking about it, is something that can go a long way."

Chelsea, who last season won the Champions League for only the second time in their history, welcome Tottenham Hotspur to Stamford Bridge for their next friendly on Wednesday.

Tuchel's side then face Villarreal in the UEFA Super Cup on Aug. 11 before they start their Premier League campaign with the visit of Crystal Palace three days later.

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