Christian Pulisic has been at Stamford Bridge this week but as the 20-year-old who will be an exciting, fresh addition to the squad for next season has been recalling, it is a stadium he first visited much earlier in his life.
He joins Chelsea as a regular international for the United States and a trophy winner in one of the big European football nations having been part of a German Cup success with Borussia Dortmund, but it was back during a brief spell living in England when he was seven that he had his initial taste of football in our stadium.
‘I just remember going to a few big games around the Premier League with my dad,’ Pulisic said when asked about that period in his life.
‘I remember coming to a Chelsea game and games at a few other Premier League clubs. At the time I was watching Chelsea I was watching Drogba, I was watching Lampard. The one thing that sticks in my brain is maybe Drogba scoring a penalty.
‘I always wanted to play professionally, especially in Europe,’ he added, ‘and the Premier League was what I was able to watch growing up in the US, and it is always where I wanted to be.'
‘I was 15 when I moved to Dortmund. It was something I always wanted and it was just a matter of finding the right time.
‘Now I just felt that it was the right step [to join Chelsea]. It was a great time in Dortmund but it was a feeling and I still have that. This is the biggest stage, it is incredible to come in and be in England and part of this league. If you want to prove yourself it is the greatest stage to be on.’
Inevitably, given the type of player he is and the positions he can operate in, Pulisic is asked to talk about Eden Hazard.
‘Eden is a fantastic player, we all know that and if I can get anywhere close to that I will be happy. He is a great player. I want to come in, be my own player, and do the best that I can do.
‘I want to use my skills, my pace, my quickness and creativity to help, especially on the attacking end of things. Scoring goals and providing assists, that is what I am here to do. I want to make an impact and be a team guy who is going to give it everything.’
He acknowledges that as a footballer only just out of his teens, he still has lots to learn and needs to grow physically and become stronger, especially coming to a league with the demands of England’s top flight, but he has already demonstrated the versatility often demanded of attacking players at the highest level.
‘I think I can be very effective on either of the wings,’ Pulisic points out. ‘I had the chance to play on both at Dortmund but I have experience of playing as a no.10 with the national team as well. Really, any of the attacking positions I can be comfortable in. I was most comfortable on the wings at Dortmund.
‘I like this system [that Chelsea play]. It is a very free-flowing, attacking system that should suit my style well.’
However, before he begins assimilating into the team at his new club, there is a chance for some rest before he joins up with the United States side for their defence of the Gold Cup. He was this week named in the preliminary squad for the defence of a trophy contested by nations from North America, Central America and the Caribbean. The final is on 7 July.
In his downtime, Pulisic describes himself as ‘a very normal kid’.
‘I am a basketball fan, I love to shoot baskets. I watch Netflix series, I like go home and play Playstation and enjoy my time away from soccer.
‘My season is over in Germany so I will get a nice little break now before the Gold Cup starts and I won’t be too late in for pre-season. I’ll be ready for the season.’