Exclusive: French star will be key part of Pochettino’s Chelsea project, says expert

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Chelsea forward Christopher Nkunku is set to have a key role in the team once he returns from injury, according to French football expert Jonathan Johnson.

Speaking exclusively to CaughtOffside for his Daily Briefing column, Johnson explained what Chelsea fans can expect from Nkunku once he finally comes back into contention after such a lengthy spell on the sidelines for the Blues.

According to Johnson, Chelsea were eager to be quick with a deal for Nkunku last year, so he very much remains a key part of Mauricio Pochettino’s project, even if Nicolas Jackson and others are now starting to impress in this CFC side.

Nkunku, however, showed huge promise during his time at former club RB Leipzig, and one imagines he will surely have little trouble getting back to his very best in a Chelsea shirt, even if it might take a bit of time for him to get back to full fitness and sharpness.

Christopher Nkunku in action for Chelsea during pre-season

Discussing Nkunku’s role at Chelsea, Johnson said: “Regardless of Chelsea’s upturn in form lately, Nkunku will be a starter for Mauricio Pochettino once he is fully fit. It might take some time for the France international to get back to his best, but he will be keen to make up for lost time and has his spot with Les Bleus to fight for as well.

“I suspect that he will have a fairly immediate impact in front of goal as Chelsea seek to make a push for a European qualification spot over the second half the season. The Blues need to be wary of recurring injury issues with their summer signing, but he undoubtedly has the quality to improve this team once he finally returns to action.

“Of course, we’ve seen real improvement from Nicolas Jackson of late, so that might have led some to question if Nkunku would get straight back into the team, but it’s important to remember how eager Chelsea were to get this deal done, and wrapped up early last year, so I’m confident he remains a key part of Pochettino’s project.”

Chelsea are slowly but surely making progress under Pochettino after initially making a nightmare start to the season and not looking a great deal better than they did in the very worst days under Graham Potter and caretaker manager Frank Lampard last season.

Nkunku could help take Chelsea to even better heights if he can get firing quickly in English football.

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