Christopher Nkunku opens up on Chelsea return as Mauricio Pochettino handed huge Arsenal boost
Chelsea star Christopher Nkunku has hailed teammate and compatriot Benoit Badiashile following the defender’s injury update ahead of his return to the Chelsea senior squad.
It’s possible that the France international will be fit for the clash with Arsenal this weekend although it’ll no doubt be touch-and-go over his inclusion. The star is yet to play under Mauricio Pochettino, having missed all of Chelsea’s first eight league games with his issue but has returned to full-team training in the past few weeks.
Having started ten of his 11 Premier League appearances towards the end of last season, Badiashile cemented his place in the Blues lineup under Frank Lampard, even scoring the goal that spurred on a 3-1 win over Bournemouth towards the final part of the campaign.
However, an injury to his hamstring put an end to that run of games, leading to him missing out over pre-season. He almost made a full recovery but was once again sidelined with a similar issue just before the 1-0 defeat to Aston Villa in September.
But now, he looks to be back and ready to go again, with the star aiming to come back after the international fully fit. Earlier this week, Badiashile opened up on playing alongside compatriot Axel Disasi in training, claiming that the pair are becoming a perfect partnership together.
He said: “By playing and playing together, you learn how to react to things and see things a little bit better together. It’s one of those things that becomes easier.” On playing and learning to his other teammate Thiago Silva, he added: “When I arrived at the club, one of the first things I said was it was an honour to play alongside a legend like him.
“Day to day being next to him, I ask him an enormous amount of questions to the point where I must get on his nerves a little. It’s because, as Axel said, he’s so intelligent and he’s someone extraordinary for someone of his age.
It’s such an honour to work with someone of that class. Everyone who works with him benefits from him and it helps us go to the maximum level.”
Ahead of this weekend’s clash with the Gunners, Badiashile sent supporters an update on his recovery via his social media channels. In an Instagram post, Badiashile posted two photos on himself in training with the caption: ‘Back at it!’ along with a fist emoji. Blues supporters flocked to the comments in order to wish him the best of luck following the recovery from the injury, with a few of his Chelsea teammates doing the same.
Nkunku was one of them, as he posted a ‘prayer’ and a ‘fire’ emoji, while full-backs Marc Cucurella and Ian Maatsen responded: ‘Benitooo’ with a ‘love-heart-eyes’ emoji and ‘My g’ respectively.