The potential move of Christian Pulisic from Chelsea to AC Milan has sparked discussions among football pundits and fans alike. Landon Donovan, an iconic figure in U.S. soccer, recently shared his opinion that Pulisic may have been better off choosing a move to Major League Soccer (MLS) instead.
Donovan suggests that guaranteeing playing time and showcasing his talent domestically could benefit Pulisic’s career, particularly with the World Cup on the horizon. However, there are differing views on whether Pulisic’s move to a club like AC Milan, where minutes are not guaranteed, is a worthwhile risk for his development.
MLS: A Path to Playing Time and Recognition
Donovan advocates for Pulisic’s return to MLS, emphasizing the opportunity for guaranteed playing time and substantial financial rewards.
Drawing parallels to Lionel Messi’s move to MLS, Donovan believes that Pulisic’s return to the American League would elevate the profile of MLS ahead of the World Cup. He highlights the importance of Pulisic playing consistently to maintain form and build momentum leading up to the tournament.
Uncertainty at AC Milan
Acknowledging the uncertainty surrounding Pulisic’s playing time at AC Milan, Donovan raises concerns about his ability to secure regular minutes.
While Christian Pulisic’s move to Milan presents a potential path to success, Donovan questions the impact of limited playing time on his form and readiness for the World Cup. He emphasizes the need for Pulisic to be in a favourable environment that allows him to thrive and be at his best.
Contrary to Donovan’s viewpoint, former USMNT midfielder Maurice Edu believes that Pulisic’s move to a club like AC Milan offers valuable benefits.
Edu argues that an environment where nothing is guaranteed can foster growth, and resilience, and ultimately lead to greater success. He suggests that the challenge of competing for minutes in a top European club can bring out the best in Pulisic.
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The Ideal Scenario
Donovan acknowledges that Christian Pulisic’s best version heading into the 2026 World Cup would be him playing regularly and excelling at a club like AC Milan.
This scenario would ensure that he enters the tournament in peak form, ready to make a significant impact. However, Donovan also recognizes the inherent risks involved in such a move, drawing on his own career decisions as an example.
The discussion surrounding Christian Pulisic’s potential move to AC Milan versus a return to MLS highlights differing perspectives within the U.S. soccer community.
Landon Donovan advocates for Pulisic’s return to MLS to secure guaranteed playing time and maximize his impact leading up to the 2026 World Cup.
Conversely, Maurice Edu believes that Pulisic’s move to AC Milan presents an opportunity for growth and success in a challenging environment. Ultimately, the decision lies with Pulisic, and the outcome will shape his career trajectory and influence the perception of U.S. players in top European leagues.