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Pulisic at wing-back? Tuchel explains shock determination for Chelsea star in pre-season win vs Arsenal

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The American played in an unfamiliar position in the blues fight against the Gunners on Saturday

Explaining the decision to use Christian Pulisic as full-back in Sunday’s friendly against Arsenal, Thomas Tuchel said it was now time to experiment with multiple players who are not on the team yet.

Pulisic started as right-back with Callum Hudson-Odoi on left when Chelsea sealed a 2-1 win behind the goals of Tammy Abraham and Kai Havertz.

The Blues had to forego Marcos Alonso, Cesar Azpilicueta and Reece James in the friendly, which gave Tuchel the chance to try something new with two of his attackers.

What did Tuchel say?

“He played there with me in Dortmund and we played with Callum so often,” said Tuchel. “Marcos couldn’t play today, so we put Callum on the left, which I’ve wanted to see for a long time. Callum may be more dangerous from this position he loves and which he held today. You know our situation.

“We have Azpi and Reece for this position [right wing-back] but Azpi only started two days ago and Reece hasn’t even started yet. So we need solutions, because we start against Villarreal on the 11th and the season is on the 14th. We can’t try things out then, so now is the time to see it.

“It was an opportunity to give him a few minutes and from here it goes on.”

Pulisic’s previous stint at Chelsea

Pulisic has played mostly as a left midfielder during his time at Chelsea, although he has also played right and center since joining the Blues in 2019.

In total, he has scored 17 goals in 77 games for the club and helped lead the team to triumph in the Champions League last season.

Leading up to the friendly this weekend, Pulisic said his biggest goal this season is to stay healthy after battling multiple injuries last season.

He also opened up his struggles with mental health, praising his therapist and teammates for helping him through difficult times.

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