Christian Pulisic endured an ‘insane’ start to his Chelsea career and was blanked by a couple of his new colleagues on the team bus ahead of his first training session at the club.
The winger agreed to join the Blues in January 2019 but remained with Dortmund on loan for six months before joining the Premier League side in the summer.
Pulisic represented his country at the Gold Cup and had little or no time to recover before he jetted off to Japan to join the Chelsea squad for their pre-season tour.
The 21-year-old said he failed to win instant respect of his new teammates and realised the way to show he belonged in their company was to make sure he impressed on the training pitch.
He told the 13&MEpodcast: ‘It was all pretty crazy what happened. I had to fly straight from my summer break right after the Gold Cup. I had one week off and I didn’t really get a summer.
‘The team had already started pre-season in Japan so I flew straight there and I had to literally fly by myself and then met the team who had flown from London.
‘I had to go straight to the hotel and the next thing on the schedule was to go straight to training. I was tired, nervous and didn’t know what to think but ‘I’m at Chelsea and this is insane’.
‘I got on the bus, they had just arrived as well. Everyone is half asleep, I go and sit on the bus and nobody even noticed me. Nobody said anything.
‘There were maybe one or two guys who said ‘hey hello’ and I was like what’s going on here?
‘Those first couple of days of training I was nervous. You know how it’s like when you move to a new team. They’re nice guys off the field but to earn that respect you have to show on the field you have that ability, that’s just how it is.
‘I had to go in on day three when I had a really good training, scored some goals, had some nice plays and assists and then I felt the guys coming and talking to me and getting their respect. It’s interesting how it works but they’ve been great guys and I’ve enjoyed it.’