Landon Donovan said he is "a little worried" for Christian Pulisic's current situation at Borussia Dortmund but is confident the Chelsea-bound player will bounce back from what has been a frustrating season.
"Candidly, I am a little worried and I think American fans should be a little bit. I understand the situation at Dortmund now; they are not going to play a player who is leaving in six months," Donovan said when asked about Pulisic on ESPN podcast Caught Offside. "The beauty of the situation with Christian is that he, by all accounts and from what I have seen, has a really good head on his shoulders, likes to compete and is oozing with talent."
Pulisic remains at Dortmund until the end of this season after completing a $73 million switch to Chelsea in January. After a bright start to his career in the Bundesliga, he has made only 13 league appearances in this campaign, scoring one goal with two assists, with only five of those as a starter.
"From that standpoint it should be fine but what happens if you go to Chelsea, who fortunately for him have a two-window transfer ban, but have a bunch of other talented players and he doesn't get a chance to play. He is now either 20 or approaching 20 and needs to be playing games so that could be concerning," Donovan said. "It is hard to turn down the allure of going to somewhere like Chelsea but it's the same argument I've made since I was 20 years old, when people ridiculed me for leaving [Bundesliga side Bayer] Leverkusen, if you are not playing games at that age, you are getting worse."
Donovan, like Pulisic, started his professional career in Germany. He struggled at Leverkusen but found success in MLS with the San Jose Earthquakes and LA Galaxy. Another brief stint in Germany with Bayern Munich was followed by two loan periods to Everton.
Pulisic, who became the youngest American ever to captain the national team in a November friendly against Italy, will arrive at a Chelsea side that has undergone recent turmoil under embattled boss Maurizio Sarri.
Donovan, who now came out of retirement to play for the San Diego Sockers indoor club earlier this month, added that he believes Pulisic will "fit in fine" at Stamford Bridge.
"I just hope that he gets a fair opportiunity to play," Donovan said. "You just never know with a manager. When you're playing in America, for a club in America, you get the benefit of the doubt. But when you're playing somewhere else, they don't care if you're from America or Ghana or Argentina, they are going to play who they think should play. So, he's got to prove he belongs there, which I'm hoping and guessing he will do, but it's going to be difficult. That's a club that's full of quality attacking players."