Ahead of the 2021 summer transfer window, Liverpool have been linked with a move for Chelsea winger Christian Pulisic, a player who was heavily linked with the Reds before signing for Thomas Tuchel’s side.
According to the Daily Mail, Liverpool are said to be among the clubs monitoring Pulisic’s situation at Chelsea, with the 22-year-old struggling for game time in recent weeks since Tuchel’s appointment, but the Reds could face competition from the likes of Bayern Munich and Manchester United.
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is known to be an admirer of the American forward, who was at Dortmund during Klopp’s successful reign at the Bundesliga side, but never made an appearance under the current Reds manager.
Tuchel, meanwhile, has insisted Pulisic is an important player at Stamford Bridge and has a future with the club.
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However, these recent reports got us thinking, what would happen *if* Liverpool did sign Pulisic this summer?
And, what kind of impact could Pulisic’s arrival have on the club’s fortunes?
To have a bit of fun and try to predict the future, we used popular football management simulation game Football Manager 2021 to predict what could happen *if* Pulisic joined Liverpool in the summer 2021.
Christian Pulisic ‘signs’ for Liverpool in the summer of 2021
To set up this simulation, we booted up the Football Manager 2021 editor and arranged for Chelsea winger Pulisic to join Liverpool on July 1st 2021.
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We then simulated the entire 2021/22 season on FM21, to see what kind of impact the American international could have at the club next season.
The Football Manager database currently contains data on more than 800,000 individuals and 45,000 active clubs, with data sourced from their international on the ground scouting network which numbers roughly 1,000 people, among their ranks are some who are involved in football in professional capacities, including scouts and coaches.
In addition, each annual iteration of Football Manager has built-in algorithms which check for outliers and data discrepancies. Data accuracy is further ensured by input from contributors who are active within the professional game (players, agents etc.) who provide regular feedback.
This is what Pulisic’s profile looks like in Football Manager 2021 as of July 2021.
Christian Pulisic’s FM21 profile
Before we go into the results of the simulation, in addition to the manual signing of Pulisic, Liverpool also signed current Real Sociedad and former Newcastle United midfielder Mikel Moreno, as well as Famalicao’s young defensive midfielder Manuel Ugarte.
In terms of outgoings, Gini Wijnaldum left for Paris Saint-Germain, whilst the Reds decided not to sign Ozan Kabak. Unfortunately, Thiago sustained a season-ending injury in October of our simulation, hence his omission from this simulation.
So, with the signing of Pulisic secured, this is what happened.
Christian Pulisic’s 2021/22 season for Liverpool
In terms of attacking talent, Liverpool had Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino, Diogo Jota, Xherdan Shaqiri and new signing Christian Pulisic in their squad in 2021/22, so the Reds certainly weren’t short on quality or quantity.
But, did the likes of Jota or Pulisic manage to usurp Liverpool’s recognisable front three in our simulation? In short, not quite.
Jurgen Klopp kept faith with his usual front three of Salah, Firmino and Mane, with Jota and Pulisic restricted to relatively few starts.
But, when they did play, they showed their quality. Let’s take a look at Pulisic’s 2021/22 campaign for Liverpool.
Christian Pulisic’s stats for Liverpool in 2021/22
Despite only making 22 starts in all competitions, including 15 in the Premier League, Pulisic scored eight goals and registered seven assists.
But the stats show he could have had even more, with the American having an xG of 11.81 throughout the season.
For a player who wasn’t a particularly regular starter, that’s pretty strong.
Pulisic put in his best performances in the league, with the winger scoring seven goals and registering five assists in just 15 stars, also having eight substitute appearances.
The winger finished as the club’s fifth-best creator with seven assists, only one less than Sadio Mane, despite having almost half of the Senegal international’s game time.
Christian Pulisic’s stats compared on FM21
He even got more assists than Salah!
But overall, Liverpool’s attacking five of Pulisic, Jota, Mane, Salah and Firmino recorded 128 goal contributions between them in all competitions, an extraordinary record.
At the end of every campaign on FM21, the game generates a best XI for each side based on a number of key metrics, giving players an idea of their best-performing eleven players.
Overall, this was Liverpool’s best performing eleven: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Van Dijk, Matip, Robertson; Henderson, Fabinho, Merino; Salah, Firmino, Mane.
Liverpool’s best XI in 2021/22 on FM21
Jota and Pulisic both missed out on a place in the best eleven, despite impressive match ratings and goal contributions with limited game time, with Salah, Firmino and Mane being included instead, after having strong seasons themselves.
Jota in particular was in fine form, scoring 21 goals in just 34 appearances, whilst Pulisic provided 15 goal contributions in 40 appearances.
So, how did this Liverpool team perform overall in the 2021/22 season with Pulisic?
Liverpool’s performance in 2021/22 with Pulisic
This is how the final 2021/22 Premier League table looked at the end of our simulation.
Liverpool’s incredible strength in-depth in attack saw them lift the Premier League title in 2021/22.
The 2021/22 Premier League table on FM21
Despite not having the best defensive record, their stunning attacking record saw them earn 92 points in 38 games, finishing nine points clear of Man City in fourth place.
However, the Reds had a rocky Champions League campaign, going out in the Group Stage!
But when dropping into the Europa League, they made light work of the competition, beating Lazio in the final.
Liverpool won the Europa League in 2021/22
Goals from Firmino, Shaqiri and Mane sealed the win.
Liverpool also reached the FA Cup final, but were beaten 3-2 by Man City.
According to Football Manager 2021 , the signing of Pulisic would give Liverpool some incredible depth in attack, and although neither he or Jota were regular starters, their goals coming off the bench or on rare starts were invaluable to their league win.
Plus, if the Reds were to see any of the front three leave over the next season or so, this simulation shows that either Pulisic or Jota would be suitable replacements, who could come in and make a real impact.
As always, these simulations are just one way of predicting a player’s prospective impact, but it’s interesting to see how Pulisic could perform for Liverpool, *if* he signed for the club in the summer of 2021.
Would you be happy to see Liverpool sign Pulisic this summer? Let us know in the comments section below.
*Football Manager (FM) is the worlds leading football management simulation title. The latest edition of the game, FM21, is out now on PC, Mac, Mobile, Touch and Xbox.
The Football Manager database currently contains data on more than 800,000 individuals and 45,000 active clubs, with data sourced from their international on the ground scouting network which numbers roughly 1,000 people, among their ranks are some who are involved in football in professional capacities, including scouts and coaches.

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