Schalke midfielder Weston McKennie has lauded the game-changing qualities of Borussia Dortmund counterpart Christian Pulisic, ahead of the pair's reunion for the USA in the upcoming international friendlies against England and Italy.
McKennie makes his return to the squad having missed the October friendlies against Colombia and Peru through injury, while Pulisic has only appeared once for the USMNT this calendar year due to injury and club commitments.
'Pulisic always finds a way'
"We’ve been pretty good lately, but I think we need a little bit more creativity in the final third, and a few more players who like to go one-on-one with players," McKennie told SportsIllustrated. “Christian is the type of player, when you see him out wide with the ball, you know he’s going to get by the player 95 percent of the time. He’ll find a way.
"That’s something that will definitely help our team and give us a little confidence boost. There are always players that whenever they’re on the field with you, you feel comfortable with. Players you can count on, players you just believe in a little bit more. Christian is one of those players."
Jack of all trades, master of all?
McKennie’s on-going development is reflected in the number of different positions he has played in under Schalke coach Domenico Tedesco so far this season. From centre-back through to centre-forward, he has been deployed in almost every outfield position imaginable on top of the No.8 role he typically performs for the USA.
"I can actually play almost every position," McKennie explained. "Maybe the only position I only slightly play is winger, you could say. But I can play right-back, right wing-back, centre-back, six, holding mid, attacking mid, forward. I guess my coach sees me as a player who works hard and hustles. No matter where he puts you on the field, he knows he’s going to get 100 per cent from me."