Mauricio Pochettino has called on the Chelsea board to move quickly and try to find a solution to the attacking problem created by Christopher Nkunku’s latest injury.
Nkunku joined Chelsea from RB Leipzig over the summer, but the Frenchman couldn’t begin the season with the rest of the team after picking up a knee injury in pre-season.
After more than four months on the sidelines, the 26-year-old finally made his debut for the Blues last December, scoring a goal as Chelsea lost 2-1 to Wolves at the Molineux. Nkunku also featured in three more games for his side, before Pochettino announced he’d suffered a hip problem.
The forward has not taken part in training with his Chelsea teammates since the 4-0 FA Cup win against Preston North End, and his return date is yet to be known.
With Nicolas Jackson away with Senegal for the ongoing AFCON, and Armando Broja still struggling for form, Pochettino has now urged his employers to be ‘clinical’ as they look to bring in another forward before the end of January.
“We need to be very clinical to take some decisions to think and see how we fix the problem,” he said.
“Nkunku out? I always say it’s an exciting project but situations like this make it more difficult to change the situation and grow at a different pace.”
“(Nkunku) was the only player that was performing, of course in a different league, in Germany,” added Pochettino.
“But consistently scoring goals. That was the situation before the start of the season.
“When (the injury) happened, we needed to see about Broja after one year (out injured), and Jackson moving from Villarreal, where he wasn’t top scorer.
“The age of the players, (they are) young guys that need to adapt. That was why we felt a little bit more the hit of (losing) Nkunku.
“He was consistently scoring goals. When you miss a player like this, you hope that players that maybe came here and need time to grow and score goals, it (became) a necessity, compulsory for Jackson to score in every single touch.
“Or Broja, after one year out, needs now to play three games in a row. It’s difficult for him. It makes our job more difficult. It’s exciting this project, but situations like this make it more difficult. You have to grow at a different pace.”