Roy Keane admitted to being an admirer of Chelsea forward Christian Pulisic.

Speaking on ITV last night, Keane confessed his appreciation for the United States international’s abilities.

The former Manchester United defender delivered his verdict on Pulisic ahead of the USA’s World Cup opener against Wales.

Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images

Having watched England thumb Iran 6-2 in the earlier group game, all eyes turned to the other two teams to see who could keep up the pace.

Wales were competing in the tournament for the first time 1958, so they could be classed as the new boys at Qatar.

Meanwhile, the Stars and Stripes possess one of the youngest squads at the World Cup, meaning everything was pretty fresh for Gregg Berhalter’s boys as well.

American hero

Leading the young generation of Americans was Pulisic, who held the weight of a nation on his shoulders leading up to the contest.

His status as a Chelsea player obviously heightened the expectation surrounding the 24-year-old.

Despite his repeated struggles at Stamford Bridge – which has led to reports he could be sold – he is still arguably the USA’s best and probably most important component.

Photo by Mohammad Karamali/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

“He’s obviously got his injury problems. He’s obviously a talented player, he’s got a good record at international level,” said Keane pre-match.

“So it will be interesting to see how he does in the tournament because he’s got that potential but we need to see more of it. He needs more luck with the injuries but he’s obviously a talented boy.”

Pulisic turns it on for the USA

Pulisic certainly kicked-off the World Cup in some style.

Berhalter’s team burst out of the blocks in the second half against Wales with real energy and optimism.

Their swift start was rewarded with the opening goal of the fixture after 36 minutes.

Pulisic’s brilliantly drive through the heart of the Wales midfield ended with an inch perfect pass to Timothy Weah.

Photo by Brad Smith/ISI Photos/Getty Images

Son of the infamous George neatly poked his shot past Wayne Hennessey to break the deadlock.

Chelsea fans will have gushed over the contribution from their forward, but also grunted at the fact he isn’t constantly like this at club level.

Nathaniel is a football journalist who graduated from the University of Derby. He has worked at Burton Albion as part of their media team for two years. Nathaniel produces regular articles for the club’s official website and match-day programme. He covered the 2018 U20 Women’s World Cup in Brittany and has reported from grounds ranging from non-league up to the Premier League.