Newcastle transfer target Christian Pulisic splits opinion on his World Cup debut
Photo by Ulrik Pedersen/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Newcastle transfer target Christian Pulisic splits opinion on his World Cup debut

Newcastle United fans got to see summer target Christian Pulisic in action on Monday night, as the winger featured in the USA’s 1-1 draw with Wales.

This was the second game of World Cup Group B, after England beat Iran 6-2 earlier in the day. The Three Lions’ next game is against USA on Friday, and their opponents will be desperate to win after throwing away victory in their opening game.

The Americans were dominant in the first half against Wales, and went 1-0 in front thanks to a wonderful finish from Timothy Weah. It was all made possible by Pulisic, whose driving run and defence splitting pass led to the Lille forward finding the net.

However, USA failed to preserve their one-goal lead. They conceded a penalty late in the game, with Gareth Bale earning Wales a point.

It was a mixed night for USA, who were playing in their first World Cup game since 2014.

Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images

Their team included star man Pulisic, who received mix reviews from the American media after the full time whistle.

Pulisic’s World Cup debut gets mixed reviews

It was Pulisic’s first ever appearance at the World Cup, and he made it one to remember with a lovely assist.

CBS Sports enjoyed the 24-year-old’s performance, and gave him a rating of 7.5/10, with only Tyler Adams scoring higher. On his assist, CBS described it as ‘massive’. And it would have been even grander had USA held on for victory.

But USA Today weren’t as complimentary towards the man Newcastle tried to sign during the summer transfer window. They only gave Pulisic a 6/10, describing his set pieces as a ‘consistent let down’.

USA Today wrote: “But Pulisic’s set piece delivery was a consistent let down throughout the match, and he didn’t produce a single shot or key pass of his own. The USMNT got him the touches in spots he’d need them to be in to be effective, but he wasn’t actually able to deliver consistently enough.”

That seems like a slightly harsh assessment given his first half assist, but USA will need more from Pulisic if they’re to qualify for the knockout stages.

Pulisic could be a star at Newcastle

Pulisic is representing his country right now, but remains a Chelsea player. And that’s despite the fact he was heavily linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge during the summer.

Newcastle wanted to sign him, with Fabrizio Romano claiming that the Magpies were ‘obsessed‘ with him. But he didn’t move to St James’ Park, which was a great shame.

We needed a winger all summer, and Pulisic ticked a lot of boxes. He is an exciting player to watch, and can play on both flanks.

As well as his ability, he could have been a good signing for the commercial side of the club, as Darren Eales looks to expand Newcastle’s visibility across the globe.

Since the summer, a lot has changed. Pulisic has a new manager at Chelsea, with Graham Potter replacing Thomas Tuchel. Meanwhile, Newcastle don’t need a winger quite as much, with Miguel Almiron thriving on the right flank.

It will be interesting to see if Pulisic becomes available in January and, if that does happen, whether or not Newcastle will show an interest once again.

As the January transfer window looms, he is one to watch as the World Cup continues.