Graham Potter: Chelsea never considered Christian Pulisic exit before injury

 (Chelsea FC via Getty Images)
(Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

Graham Potter insists Christian Pulisic was never expected to leave Chelsea during the January transfer window before a knee injury sidelined the forward.

The 24-year-old secured three successive starts for the first time under Potter before coming off injured in the 1-0 defeat to Manchester City. He subsequently missed the 4-0 defeat to City in the FA Cup and the 2-1 reverse at Fulham on Thursday night.

Potter on Wednesday revealed Pulisic now faces “a couple of months”, though the player is hopeful of a quicker return to action.

“We never considered anything about that [a loan] anyway but he is a couple of months out,” Potter told reporters ahead of another London derby, against Crystal Palace. “Yes, he is disappointed.

“He is optimistic about coming back quicker than two months. He is in that phase with his fingers crossed and hoping his rehab goes well.”

Pulisic is one of 11 players out injured at Chelsea, with new signing Joao Felix now suspended for the next three games after being shown a straight red card during his debut.

Injuries have played a part in Chelsea’s run of just one win in their last nine matches that leaves the club 10th in the Premier League table.

As such, Aubameyang could be in line for his first start under Potter since October.

Potter insisted that the former Arsenal striker has a future in west London despite his lack of starts, adding: “Yes, he is here. He had a problem with his back after Manchester City. That’s why he was absent against Man City.

“We just went for Kai [Havertz, against Fulham]. He was in our squad, he is important to us and I am sure he can help us going forward.”