Christian Pulisic has been criticised for choosing a move to AC Milan over Major League Soccer, as the winger prepares to leave Chelsea this summer.
Pulisic is closing in on a transfer to AC Milan after the Italian side agreed a fee in the region of £20m with Chelsea for the United States international, whose contract in west London is set to expire next summer.
The move to Serie A will provide Pulisic with regular first-team football after a frustrating spell at Chelsea, but the deal has been criticised by former USA international Landon Donovan who believes the 24-year-old should have turned down Milan in favour of a return to his homeland.
Donovan believes a move to his former club, LA Galaxy, would have been the perfect transfer for Pulisic, guaranteeing the winger minutes and raising the profile of MLS as the USA prepare to co-host the 2026 World Cup.
“The World Cup is coming in three years. This is once in a lifetime,” Donovan said to Fox Sports.
“He’s going to be in the prime of his career, his life as a soccer player, his earning potential — I’m sure he’s making plenty of money — but the ability to come to MLS kind of like Messi did. I’m not so sure that wasn’t a big reason for Messi, the World Cup coming here.
“I think it would have been a great move for the Galaxy to go out and get Christian,” he added.
“Bring him here, pay whatever you have to pay him. Bring an American superstar who has global recognition back to MLS ahead of the World Cup. I think it would have been a great move and I can hear the Twitterverse going crazy.
“My biggest thing is he needs to play. I know we all said when he went to Chelsea, ‘He’s going to play a lot.’ He didn’t play a lot, especially last year. At Milan I would think he’s going to play a lot but you just don’t know.
“So leading into the World Cup, what if he spends the last six months leading into 2026 like he did this year, then what happens? He’s not playing a lot and he’s not in good form going into the World Cup.
“The best version is him at a place like Milan, playing every week, killing the league and he’s ready in 2026. But there’s a lot of risk.”