Stoke have been known for snapping up former wonderkids and revitalising their career in the past. You just have to look at Bojan, Arnautovic and Shaqiri to see that. However, it seems that now Hughes is in the market for young players with a big future ahead of them, as can be seen through our latest target, Christian Pulisic.
According to German newspaper Bild, The Potters are leading the race for the youngster, who doesn’t look like he’ll be getting much first team action this season for his current side, Dortmund.
The American international is just 17-years-old, but has already made 12 appearances for German giants Borussia Dortmund, and 6 for his national team. That is some accomplishment for someone his age!
Predominantly playing at an attacking midfield position, what is good about him is that he is versatile in where he can play. As well as at attacking midfield, he can also play on both wings, which could play into our favour whenever Arnautovic or Shaqiri are out.
With so much talent at a young age, Pulisic has already broken various record in both the Bundesliga and for the USMNT.
Signed as a 16-year-old by Dortmund, he was assigned to their youth team, where he scored 10 goals and assisted 8 in just 15 matches. He was brought up to the first team during the Bundesliga winter break, and made his debut on 30th January 2016 against FC Ingolstadt 04.
He would score his first goal for the club in April 2016 against Hamburg, opening the scoring in a 3-0 victory. The goal meant he became the youngest non-German player to ever score in the Bundesliga, aged just 17 years and 212 days old. He’d break another Bundesliga record just a week later, as his second goal for the club made him the youngest player to ever score two goals in the top-flight league.
As for his international career, it is fair to say that his goalscoring record for the youth sides are rather impressive. For the U15s, he managed 22 goals in 28 games. He captained the US U17s national team at the 2015 U17s World Cup in Chile, and finished his time in the team with 28 goals in 34 games.
He was called up to the US National Team squad for the Copa América on 21 May 2016, and one week later scored a late goal in a friendly against Bolivia, to become the youngest player to score for the United States in the modern era.
It is clear to see that Pulisic has the talent to succeed at any club, but with him wanting a move away to secure first team football, would it be the right move to bring him to the Potteries? With our attacking three of Bojan, Arnautovic and Shaqiri, it is hard to see him holding down a first team spot.
It is suggested that a loan move is the ideal move for the youngster. As he would be brought in on loan rather than being signed long term, you’d imagine he’d be brought in for first team football or as rotation for the current squad.
Regardless of that, with the incredible ability that Pulisic possesses, I don’t think it would take long to win over the management and the fans! For anyone who wants to see a closer look at the seventeen year-old in action, here is a compilation of his skills: