In what seemed like an ongoing ordeal, Barcelona seems to have found their Neymar replacement in Borussia Dortmund’s Ousmane Dembele. After struggling to sign Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho, Barcelona went after and got Dembele for 105 million Euros.

Naturally, at least for those in the United States, attention turned to Christian Pulisic. With Dembele now in Barcelona, many believe this will no doubt move Pulisic up the depth chart and give him more playing time, making him better. But that’s a rather simplistic way of looking at it like that.

I don’t believe Dembele in Barcelona will make Pulisic worse at Dortmund, but I don’t know how he’ll automatically be better as a result as so many people want to believe.

The belief would be that Pulisic will get more playing time but exactly how much more playing time is he going to get. Pulisic is about a month from turning 19 and has a World Cup coming. Dortmund is very cognizant and does a great job of making sure their squads are rotated so nobody is exhausted, especially an 18-year-old they view as a future world class player. Even if Pulisic is the best teenage player in the world right now, an 18-year-old isn’t going to be an every game starter. Maybe Pulisic will be more likely to play in some of Dortmund’s bigger games but Dortmund has been playing him in those games anyway so I’m not quite sure we’ll see much change.

It just seems like many want to insert a Pulisic narrative into the Dembele Barcelona transfer story in order to shoehorn the future of the USMNT into a story and/or want to believe that this will make Pulisic better. I no doubt understand the irony that I’m writing a story incorporating Pulisic into the Dembele transfer but my point behind that is different. Don’t worry about Christian Pulisic, the kid is going to be better and better year after year. The fact that Ousmane Dembele would be there or not wouldn’t hinder or enhance that.

About Phillip Bupp

News and soccer editor for The Comeback and I occasionally write for Awful Announcing and Freezing Cold Takes. I also do video highlight game coverage for Major League Soccer as well as a freelance writer for hire. Opinions are my own but feel free to agree with them.

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