Americans Abroad 2018-19: Youth Movement

rguilmar

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How scared should I be that Pulisic isn't starting Bundesliga matches anymore?

Not really sure what to read into it, but I would guess it’ll be a while before he’s starting again. He’s not on the bench today, which could indicate injury or that he’s been quietly pushing for a move.

Dortmund have a really strong squad this year and lead the Bundesliga. They’ve been really only playing with four attacking players (both Witsel and Delaney playing more withdrawn roles in front of the back four). Gotze has found his form/ isn’t pissing off the team. Reus is a must-start, no matter what. There are other quality players on the roster who also are on the bench- Alcacer, Kagawa, Dahoud.

Jadon Sancho has been a beast this season. He’s finishing like we would like Pulisic to be scoring. He looks like he works really well with Reus. Bruun Larsen is looking really good as well, and with Dortmund playing grat with Larsen and Sancho as the wingers and with Gotze and Reus leading the charge, Pulisic is left out. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
 

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Pulisic was out with a calf injury today.

A few milestones among young players:

  • 20 year old forward Haji Wright made his first start for Schalke after making his first team debut last week. From what I've read, he wasn't very good, and I'm still not optimistic he'll make it at Schalke, but getting a little Bundesliga run could be good for his future career options.
  • 17 year old winger Konrad de la Fuente made his debut for Barcelona B, after starting the year with the U19s.
  • 18 year old CB Chris Richards made the 18 for Bayern Munich II for the first time. We will find out soon whether they will make his loan from FC Dallas permanent or not.
  • 18 year old RB Sergino Dest scored his first goal for Ajax II in the Dutch second division. He has been splitting time between the reserve team, the U19 Dutch league, and the U19 Champions League.
 

Titans Bastard

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Werder confirms Sargent's inclusion in the 18 for their Bundesliga match on Friday.

 

Titans Bastard

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Galarcep reports that the loan of US U20 center back Chris Richards has gone well enough that Bayern and FC Dallas are working out a $1.25m transfer fee.

https://www.goal.com/en-us/news/sources-bayern-finalizing-transfer-for-usmnt-prospect-chris/a6g0sj9nwqi21a5p17wkjmauy

He also reports that Steffen's transfer to Man City is done; he's passed a medical and signed a contract. It's a $7.5m fee with another $2.5m if he meets incentives.

https://www.goal.com/en-gb/news/sources-usmnt-goalkeeper-zack-steffen-transfer-to-manchester/l3kup5mq56831kirwmveojmuy
 

Jimy Hendrix

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Burgstaller goes down for Schalke and in desperation, Weston McKennie is the newest striker in the USMNT pool.
 

Jimy Hendrix

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The kindest thing to say about Striker McKennie so far is that he’s been better than the LB who was his strike partner for a lot of the game.
 

Titans Bastard

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Ajax signed US U20 right back Sergino Dest to a new deal. Dest's previous contract ran out at the end of the season, which had led to speculation that he might sign elsewhere. I'm glad to see him stay because he seems to be a valued prospect who is progressing. Dest began the year with the U19s, but is now mostly playing in the Dutch second division with Ajax's reserves.



Portland announced that they will recall CM Eryk Williamson from his loan in Portugal sometime before the start of 2019 preseason. That makes sense, as Williamson has gotten no traction at Santa Clara whatsoever.


Talk of a winter loan for Timothy Weah is heating up. He needs and is ready for first team minutes somewhere other than PSG.
 

Titans Bastard

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Steffen is officially heading to Manchester City.


The wrinkle is that Steffen isn't moving until the summer window. This makes sense for two reasons. First, finding him a decent loan in the middle of the Euro season would be difficult. Staying with Columbus through June will likely afford him the most first team playing time of all his options. Second, by July 9 the Gold Cup will be over, so assuming Steffen starts those games he'll have a stronger case for a work permit, if Man City wants to keep him around as a backup.
 

Titans Bastard

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Christian Pulisic started and helped set up a goal for Dortmund, who won their CL group.


Ethan Horvath started for Club Brugge, who held Atlético to a 0-0 draw. Brugge finished 3rd ahead of Monaco and will parachute into the Europa League knockout phase. Since winning the starting role back at Club Brugge, Horvath started three CL games (home vs. Atlético, @ Dortmund, @ Monaco) and earned a clean sheet in all three of them. Good work from a guy who looked like a nervy head case not long ago.

He had a nice save today:


McKennie didn't get off the bench today, but Schalke didn't have anything to play for.
 

Titans Bastard

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Haji Wright got another chance this weekend. He played the second half against Augsburg and would have scored the winner if not for being a hair offside. His Bundesliga starting debut was widely panned, but he got better reviews this time.

Novakovich had a nice assist in Fortuna Sittard's road win(!) over Feyenoord.

 

Titans Bastard

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Amidst Schalke's ongoing forward crisis, Haji Wright got another start to day, and scored! Weston McKennie knocked down a corner kick to Wright's feet. It's also the first time two American players have been in the same Bundesliga starting lineup since Fabian Johnson and Danny Williams for Hoffenheim in 2013.


McKennie has a Bocanegra-esque height-to-aerial ability ratio.
 

Titans Bastard

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U20 right back Manny Perez has reportedly signed with Celtic. He's not our top U20 RB at the moment, but is viewed as a decent prospect.

 

Titans Bastard

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Richie Ledezma's move to PSV is official. I have hopes for this kid.

 

Jimy Hendrix

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Sargent with a goal, RB Leipzig looking a midfielder short.

A lot to like about this game from a USMNT perspective.
 

Titans Bastard

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Two goals in 45 Bundesliga minutes for Sargent so far. I'm really pleased with his career path and career choices so far. He could have signed with a bigger club than Werder, but he's going to work his way into regular Bundesliga minutes faster this way.

Pulisic, McKennie, Sargent, and Wright are all 20 or younger and have played in the Bundesliga this year. Adams is a lock to join that group in the second half of the season when his transfer goes through. Sebastian Soto is joining the first team for the winter training camp, so we'll see about him.

Jordan Siebatcheu has been fairly quiet since his big-money transfer to Rennes, but he had a huge game today: 2g/1a. A nice goal here:


I don't have a strong sense of his upside, but it's hard to see him with France long-term even if they are his first choice. He has an extremely low-key profile for a dual national for whom a club paid an eight-figure transfer fee.
 

Titans Bastard

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Jonathan Gonzalez's younger brother Adrian has landed at Pachuca via the Alianza organization.

 

Quintanariffic

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Weah following all of his new Celtic teammates on Instagram should be about as much confirmation as you need.

Glad to see him go to a club where he’ll get minutes. Disappointed it’s in a league as weak as the SPL.
 

Titans Bastard

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I'm okay with Weah going to a weaker league for a winter loan. Since the loan club has no stake in Weah's long-term development, Weah needs to show that he can contribute right away, with no preseason to adjust. That's going to be easier in Scotland.

From what I've read, Celtic have a shortage of forwards due to the fact that Leigh Griffiths is on personal leave for gambling addiction. Weah should have a solid opening to earn a lot of playing time here.

Meanwhile in Scotland, there's more confirmation that U20 right back Manny Perez has signed for Rangers pending his work permit hearing, while Rangers have also made offers to ex-Chicago Fire right back Matt Polster and left back Andrew Gutman (Indiana U).
 

Titans Bastard

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Tyler Adams is really a machine in every imaginable way:

Last summer, in the middle of the Red Bulls’ season and just a couple of weeks after graduating from high school, Adams enrolled to take online classes at Southern New Hampshire University. It wasn’t a spur-of-the moment decision. Back in 2015, when Adams was signing his first pro contract with the Red Bulls, his mother negotiated a clause stipulating that his tuition would be reimbursed each time he passed a course in college.

Adams might have been forgiven if he had claimed not to have time to take advantage of that offer. His burgeoning soccer career saw him play 58 league matches over the past two years, plus heavy minutes last year with the United States U-20 national team as well as now being a regular with the full national team. It has been a full calendar with plenty of travel, but also one that has seen him earn 36 college credits since last summer.

Oh, and a 4.0 G.P.A.
He’ll continue his one-course schedule this spring, with a class in abnormal psychology. With the move to Germany and plenty of changes coming his way, Adams wants to ease into his life as a yank abroad. But he also doesn’t want to take a semester off, wary that it could derail his steady march towards a bachelor’s degree. His solution is to scale back his coursework as he deals with a new team, league, culture and time changes, not to mention immersing himself in the German language.

Three times a week for the past five months, Adams has had a Skype session with a German language instructor. Each online language session with the professor runs about 90 minutes and is a private study, not at all connected with his degree (though he’s hoping to get college credit for the work). He hopes that his first media interview at RB Leipzig will be conducted in German.
The language barrier can be a big logistical and psycho-social barrier for some Americans who go abroad but it's extremely unsurprising that that won't be an issue for Adams.
 

Titans Bastard

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DrewDawg

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Ugh. Although if he's going to England, and we knew it would be a big club if he did, if it wasn't Spurs, I'm just glad it wasn't Arsenal, ManU, Man City or Liverpool.
 

Titans Bastard

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Some confirmed news:
  • Joe Corona, coming off a Liga MX title with América, has returned to Club Tijuana
  • Tony Alfaro, who was the Sounders' 4th CB last year and whose contract option was declined, has signed with Chivas. It's strange seeing an MLS bit player sign with a larger Mexican club. Apparently Chivas liked Alfaro when he played against them in the CCL last spring. Regardless, I can't see this working out.
  • Emerson Hyndman's loan at Hibernian has expired and he's returning to Bournemouth. He undoubtedly won't play there, so perhaps he can get a new loan?
  • Levante has recalled Shaq Moore from his loan at Reus in the Spanish second division. Reus has been experiencing financial problems and reportedly hasn't been paying their players. This is not the first time this has happened to Moore in the Spanish lower divisions.
  • Lynden Gooch signed a new contract at Sunderland through 2022. He's having a strong season in League One.
  • Chris Cortez, a 30 year old forward who briefly played with Chivas USA and went on to play many years in the USL, has signed with Chonburi FC in Thailand. Chase the dream!
 

Jimy Hendrix

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Emerson Hyndman's loan at Hibernian has expired and he's returning to Bournemouth. He undoubtedly won't play there, so perhaps he can get a new loan?
I’m not 100% sure on this.

Lewis Cook’s out long-term, Lerma will miss games as a yellow card machine, Gosling has been injured on & off. If Hyndman’s ever going to break through in Bournemouth now seems like it would be the time. Worst case scenario, they keep him for depth due to that injury situation and he never plays, but there’s potential opportunity there.
 

The Racoon

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Pulisic transfer to Chelsea is now official: He is under contract with the Abramovich club starting now, but will continue to play for Borussia Dortmund until summer 2019 on a loan.
Total transfer fee going to Dortmund will be 64 million € (57,8 million £ / 73,2 million $), according to german kicker.de.

This can be a win-win-win situation:
Pulisic gets to play in the Premier League, where he always wanted to go. And he has clarity for his future, which could help boost his confidence and get out of his recent struggles, that put him behind on the depth chart in Dortmund. Having a successful 2nd half of the season (winning a title is still very much in play) would be a great ending to his time in Germany.
Chelsea get one of the most exciting young players in world football (or soccer for you US guys) and can do so, even if FIFA decides that as a punishment for some former illegal transfers of youth players they aren't allowed to sign players in the summer. While 64 million € are no bargain for a player with just 1 year left on his contract, it isn't a complete overpay either and there is a very good chance that Pulisic will be worth that sum and more.
BVB: It was obvious, that CP wasn't going to stay with them, but with their great standings in all 3 competitions (CL, Bundesliga, German Cup) they couldn't afford to deal him now, because they probably wouldn't be able to find a remotely decent replacement.
Having the deal done now gives Dortmund the chance that CP will help them for the rest of the season and they can look for a replacement in the next 6 month (Thorgan Hazard, Edens younger brother at Mönchengladbach will surely be up on this list).
As a BVB-fan I'm completely fine with this transfer. It's always sad to see young players that have come through our system go, but it is easy to understand that Borussia Dortmund may not be the final career goal for an american boy. The money helps to replace him, we have clarity and a motivated player for the 2nd half of this season and he is not going to Bayern, so really nothing to complain about.
 

Clears Cleaver

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Pulisic is basically a right wing at this point. He has scored some important goals as a late sub, but he has not proven to be good enough or consistent enough to start every game. He wouldn’t play at Chelsea this year and I’m not sure he plays next year but William and Pedro are both 30 and contracts are up after next year. They also don’t have hazard or Odai signed past next year. This seems like a smart hedge by Chelsea but I’m not sure we are going to see him play the weekends at Stamford bridge until fall 2020

Hopefully Chelsea develops him and he steps in as a 22-year old makes his mark. Odai is basically same player same age as CP, and he has said he doesn’t want to stay in London. Anything to read into that.
 

Titans Bastard

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Wow. $73.2m is really a lot of money and feels like very good business for BVB. Pulisic is a high quality player but I don't think we've seen $73.2m worth of end product from him in the Bundesliga. Chelsea has to be betting that he has another 10% of potential in him.

I hope this works out, but this move makes me nervous from a US perspective. Pulisic will surely be getting a huge raise. If he falls out of favor with Chelsea, no one will want to take over those wages, so he'll be stuck in the unstable world of Loan Hell for a while.
 

teddykgb

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It's a dumb tweet because transfer prices just keep going up. Sane was so long ago now he'd easily eclipse this fee today. Vinicius had done less than Pulisic at the time of his transfer, etc.

Still unhappy with this in the same vein as TB. Pulisic falling to the substitute bench wasn't a great development. He's going to have his work cut out for him making Chelsea XI. And unlike others I don't see the loan back helping either. Dortmund surely see him as an insurance policy for their title run now. They have no incentive to develop him remainder of season
 

Titans Bastard

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If it's about ratings and merchandise, this whole transfer would be really dumb from Chelsea's standpoint. A ratings/merchandise motivation suggests that they don't actually think Pulisic is good enough, which suggests he won't actually play that much, which means that people won't be tuning in or buying a Chelsea Pulisic shirt.

Also, good luck recouping $73.2m in jersey sales from a US market that isn't that large and is quite balkanized. The single largest bloc of soccer fans in the US are Liga MX/El Tri fans who won't give a damn. Then you have lots of other US fans who are engaged with the EPL but who have established rooting interests. Are US/Liverpool, US/Arsenal, US/Spurs fans going to buy a Chelsea Pulisic shirt?

I'd believe that Pulisic's status as the most recognizable American player jacked up his price a bit, but I can't see spending big on him unless you mostly just wanted him as a player.
 

Seven Costanza

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Pulisic will get minutes I'm sure. They're not trotting 31 year olds Willian & Pedro or Hudson-Odoi or Charley Musonda or whatever the Academy flavor du jour is out there in front of him.

This is cryptic vague posting I know, but this move has been in the works for a while.
 
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67YAZ

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Negative nellies. There is always going to be competition when stepping up to top clubs. Like Clears noted, there's at least a possible path to the first team for Pulisic (and maybe Chelsea will have to sit out the next few transfer windows?). I can't wait to see what Sarri does with Pulisic, how he teaches him to press better, play a more well rounded game, and of course, drive hard towards goal like Insigne.

Also, Pulisic just more than tripled the record fee for an American (John Brooks to Wolfsburg for €20m). That's a lot of pressure, but it's very exciting that a young American is in this position.
 

PedroSpecialK

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The rapid development of Jadon Sancho eases the blow significantly for Dortmund as well. Can't really find a flaw with this arrangement from their point of view. On the flip side, IMO Pulisic has a pretty clear path to the first team for Chelsea, especially given the current RW alternatives as SC noted.

It seems Liverpool weren't in on Pulisic this time around, but reports are have them chasing Timo Werner from Leipzig.
 

DrewDawg

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If it's about ratings and merchandise, this whole transfer would be really dumb from Chelsea's standpoint. A ratings/merchandise motivation suggests that they don't actually think Pulisic is good enough, which suggests he won't actually play that much, which means that people won't be tuning in or buying a Chelsea Pulisic shirt.

Also, good luck recouping $73.2m in jersey sales from a US market that isn't that large and is quite balkanized. The single largest bloc of soccer fans in the US are Liga MX/El Tri fans who won't give a damn. Then you have lots of other US fans who are engaged with the EPL but who have established rooting interests. Are US/Liverpool, US/Arsenal, US/Spurs fans going to buy a Chelsea Pulisic shirt?
Anecdotal, but finding BVB things this Xmas was difficult. My son likes them and likes Pulisic and a lot of items were simply sold out or only available on sketchy Chinese sites. And some of these items were not Pulisic specific either.

If Pulisic rebounds in the second half of the season and leads the US team, new fans will come to the game, kids, etc. That's where they're hoping the money comes from.

Anyway, Leander Schaerlaeckens isn't a big fan of the move: https://sports.yahoo.com/christian-pulisic-completes-blockbuster-73-million-chelsea-transfer-will-work-133105726.html

It feels like leaving now, Pulisic will be shirking a fight for playing time with Sancho. There will be more of those fights, wherever he goes. Especially at a big English club, where most every summer will see the recruitment of some new threat to his spot in the team. There’s no sense in running away.
 

BCsMightyJoeYoung

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The rapid development of Jadon Sancho eases the blow significantly for Dortmund as well. Can't really find a flaw with this arrangement from their point of view. On the flip side, IMO Pulisic has a pretty clear path to the first team for Chelsea, especially given the current RW alternatives as SC noted.

It seems Liverpool weren't in on Pulisic this time around, but reports are have them chasing Timo Werner from Leipzig.
Most ‘Pool pundits are saying that Klopp , while really liking the player didn’t want to spend big bucks on a player with no obvious place in the starting XI. The emergence of Shaqiri - and to a lesser extent Oxlade -Chamberlain - really put an end to their interest.

This makes sense. Chelsea, on the other hand have a real need for an infusion of young talent - especially with Hazard looking more and more likely to leave.

- not to hijack a thread on CP .. but I’d be shocked if Liverpool move for Werner. He has Bayern Munich written all over him.
 

Seven Costanza

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60/40 that Hazard stays/leaves, and that's conservative. I wouldn't be shocked, but it would be surprising if he left.

The youth squad was bounced from the youth FA Cup by Man United a few weeks ago. They won the prior 5. They most definitely have the youth talent. Actually playing them is a different discussion.

Sarri touched on that in his presser yesterday- lot of talk about Hudson-Odoi and his desire for minutes but Sarri is paid to win games, not play the kids. With the constant managerial carousel at CFC it can be hard for a manager to blood in youth. Lose a few and you're back in the unemployment line.

EDIT: to expand a little on that- there's tons of quality in the Chelsea youth ranks. Tons (look at Tammy Abraham, Mason Mount, Reece James, Fikayo Tomori- all doing well in the Championship for example) but for every one of them you've got a Patrick Bamford sitting around somewhere. Pulisic is young for sure, but I'd argue he's proven in ways the academy guys aren't.
 
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dirtynine

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It would have been easier to pull for CP had he ended up at LFC, but I don’t think he would have been able to force his way into starter-level playing time for quite a while. If I’m Klopp I don’t change much about the chemistry of the current squad unless it’s a clear slam dunk. And as was pointed out, for €64m Pulisic would have to be starting for, and improving the Liverpool lineup quickly. It pains me to say from a jersey-buying standpoint - it’ll never happen for me now - but the fit at Chelsea is better at the moment. If LFC was 4th as usual this probably would have gone differently.

If CP catches fire in the EPL he’s primed to explode stateside. Chelsea is one of the few clubs with the name recognition to help fuel that.
 

Cellar-Door

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This will be interesting, Pulisic is young and talented, but his on field product hasn't been anywhere near a £58M player.
 

OilCanShotTupac

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on phone so no link but from what I was seeing online over the holidays lots of Chelsea fans were unhappy with the CP rumors- thought he’d be overpriced for someone not even playing regularly at Dortmund, that he would be taken time away from Hudson Odoi who seems to be a fan fave, and that it’s all for marketing to sell gear to Americans.

From a US standpoint I just want him to get regular time on the pitch, he wasn't at Dortmund and I'm not confident that he will at Chelsea either.
 

coremiller

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This will be interesting, Pulisic is young and talented, but his on field product hasn't been anywhere near a £58M player.
He sort of is, though. You have to consider his on-field product in light of his age. There aren't too many 18/19-year-olds getting serious minutes and producing for CL-quality teams, and the projections for the guys that do are very high. Ousmane Dembele got sold for over 105m plus add-ons. Sterling was 50m 3.5 years ago in a less inflated market. Mbappe went for 145 plus add-ons. Pulisic is probably not as good as those guys, so 58m is probably a little high, but it's not outrageous. I feel like anything under 50m would have been seen as very good value for the buyer.

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/the-great-american-soccer-hope-is-here-for-real-this-time/
 

Seven Costanza

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Did anyone catch the entirety of today's match?

He's going to play. Unless Chelsea goes out and buys Jadon Sancho or Messi or Neymar or something.

Pulisic is, and will be, a better wing option than anyone on that team (or who will be bought by that team) not named Eden Hazard. That he's not currently playing for Dortmund much thanks to the otherworldly form of Jadon Sancho doesn't change the reality at Stamford Bridge.
 

veritas

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I don't think you can look at this just in terms of merchandise sales over the next few years. Soccer is continuing to grow rapidly in the US, and new fans are always wondering which EPL team they should "pick". A lot more of those are going to be going with Chelsea now. Chelsea establishing a bigger chunk of the US fanbase is going to pay dividends, essentially forever, when it comes to advertising and sponsorships.

That's a lot of money though...I'd be horrified if Spurs did it, but Chelsea is in a much better position to spend money like that