Christian Pulisic: I wish Chelsea gave me more opportunity

Pulisic 'embracing' AC Milan challenge, laments lack of opportunity at Chelsea (0:26)

Christian Pulisic says he is "excited for a new challenge" with AC Milan after closing a chapter with Chelsea. (0:26)

Christian Pulisic said on Wednesday that he wished he had been given more of an opportunity to prove himself at Chelsea but that his move to AC Milan can help him reach another level as a player.

The United States star signed a four-year contract with Milan this week to end a stay at Chelsea that never quite lived up to initial expectations after his €64 million transfer from Borussia Dortmund in 2019.

Speaking to ESPN's Graham Hunter after signing his contract in Milan on Wednesday, Pulisic was asked whether he could have been given more opportunities to prove himself at Stamford Bridge.

"Of course. I'd like to think so," he said. "Of course there are definitely times where I wish I could've gotten more of an opportunity and been that guy, but yeah, for whatever reason, that's not the case, and like I said, I'm just so excited for this new challenge and I'm definitely ready and up for it."

Pulisic made 145 appearances across his four seasons with Chelsea, scoring 26 goals and adding 21 assists. His highlight came in the 2020-21 season when he scored against Real Madrid in the Champions League semifinals en route to the London club lifting the trophy for the second time.

But, with Pulisic hampered by injuries and amid frequent managerial changes, his impact and his role has declined in recent seasons.

Last season he scored one goal in 30 games in all competitions -- both his lowest single-season totals with Chelsea.

In contrast, Pulisic said he was reassured by his initial conversations with Milan manager Stefano Pioli.

"I think he made me feel like he wanted me here, he wanted me to be a part of this team and he saw me fitting into this team, and that's what I wanted to hear," he said.

"Obviously I want a fair opportunity like everyone else to have the chance to come here. I still need to earn my place, of course, but it felt like I was wanted here and I have a great opportunity, if I show good effort, good attitude every day and train well, that I'm going to get the opportunity to go out and perform."

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The player from Pennsylvania has continued to be a key figure for the USMNT, twice guiding his country to win the Concacaf Nations League, as well as helping to lead the side to the round of 16 at the 2022 World Cup.

In total, Pulisic has played 60 times for the U.S., scoring 25 goals.

In AC Milan, he joins one of Europe's most successful clubs. The Rossoneri's tally of seven Champions League/European Cups is second only to Real Madrid's 14, and they have won 19 Serie A titles, with their most recent triumph in 2022. Last season they reached the Champions League semifinals, where they lost to city rivals Inter Milan.

Pulisic said he is confident that playing for the Serie A giants will only make him more of a force on the international stage.

"I think it's just another massive opportunity and experience for me to learn and grow as a player," he said.

"Playing in a new league, a new challenge for me, it's just going to test me that much more, and when those big moments like Copa America and stuff come around, I'm just going to be that much more battle tested, and that's how I feel with coming to a new club, getting to play in all different types of new games and playing new teams.

"Massive opportunity for me to really step up and go to another level as a player. And when those things come around with the national team, I know I'll be in top form and be ready."

Pulisic will be greeted by some familiar faces at Milan. Midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek has also been transferred from Stamford Bridge to the San Siro this summer, and U.S. teammate Sergino Dest spent last season on loan there from Barcelona.

He'll also be reunited with former Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud, who Pulisic said helped persuade him to accept Milan's offer.

Although there will be work to do to integrate into his new surroundings and he still needs to learn Italian, Pulisic said he already has a strong personal connection to the country through his late grandmother.

"I think my grandma would definitely be the most proud seeing this, so it's a great feeling," he said. "I'm really proud, I'm really honored to be here to play for such a historic club like this and to play in Italy. She's definitely looking down and proud."