Chelsea believe Christopher Nkunku will take them to the next level: An assessment

25-year-old French international Christopher Nkunku could end Mauricio Pochettino’s Chelsea’s ongoing struggles.

After a season full of struggles last time out, Chelsea were expected to bounce back in the 2023/24 campaign. But, the story is still the same. Nothing much has changed at Stamford Bridge despite the arrival of new manager Mauricio Pochettino. However, things could transform with the return of Christopher Nkunku. At least that is what Ben Jacobs reckons on Give Me Sport.

The French international, who came through the ranks at Paris Saint-Germain, joined Chelsea this past summer from RB Leipzig for £52 million. The Blues had reached a pre-agreement with the German club towards the end of 2022. He was considered to be one of the best signings post the takeover, and the fans were eagerly awaiting his arrival.

The 25-year-old was a part of Chelsea’s pre-season, and he had got off to a great start under new boss Pochettino. He was expected to be one of the pillars of the team heading into the new season. But, things took a huge turn as he picked up a serious knee injury in a friendly against Borussia Dortmund.

He suffered the injury just ten days before the start of the new season and is yet to make his official debut for the club. However, Nkunku’s recovery is going smoothly, and the French international is expected to be back next month.

His return could end up being a huge boost for the Blues. Chelsea have been playing decent football in the new season. But, they have scored enough goals. Their form in the final third has been their major concern. They have dropped points because they have not been clinical enough in the final third.

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Pochettino has had his impact, but the lack of goals have hampered his side. Things have improved of late, as they have won their last two outings in the league and have scored six goals. But, they do lack firepower in attack. As a result, the arrival of Nkunku could be a turning point.

Chelsea prefer playing in the 4-2-3-1 formation, while they have also deployed the 4-3-3 formation. Both formations suit Nkunku, and he could turn out to be a trump card for the former Tottenham Hotspur manager. His return will give Pochettino multiple options as the 25-year-old can feature an attacking midfielder, a left-winger as well as a striker.

Given the variety of attacking options present in the Chelsea ranks, Pochettino could use him in different roles depending on the opposition and the form of his own players. While his arrival will add flexibility, the biggest boost is that he will add goals.

The 25-year-old was the joint-highest goal scorer in the Bundesliga last season. He ended up scoring 16 goals and also had six assists to his name. Overall, he contributed towards 32 goals in all competitions in the 2022/23 season. Nkunku was injured for a part of the season and only featured in 36 league games. Despite that, he was one of the most lethal attackers in Germany.

Chelsea have lacked goals of late, and his arrival will give them a huge boost on the pitch as well as in terms of their morale. Not only will he add goals, he will make them more threatening going forward. The 25-year-old will also create chances for the forwards in and around him. If he manages to have an impact on the squad, Chelsea could turn out to be a dominating team.

Nkunku has showcased his class in Germany, but it will all depend on how well can he adjust to the Premier League. The style of football in both countries is different, and it might take some time for him to get used to things. But, there have been players in the past who have taken the Premier League by storm. And given the quality of the player, one cannot rule out the possibility of Nkunku turning around the fortunes of the Blues.

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