Pochettino surprises with Nkunku injury boost for Chelsea after Fulham victory
Mauricio Pochettino has given a shocking Christopher Nkunku injury update considering his comments on the France international from Friday. Chelsea were in Premier League action against Fulham on Saturday although Nkunku was absent from the London derby because of a hip injury.
After playing just 152 minutes of football since his return from a serious knee issue, Nkunku was placed back on the sidelines following the win against Luton Town. Pochettino was hopeful his latest injury would not be serious, however his update earlier this week certainly suggested otherwise.
“I do worry about the situation of Nkunku,” he admitted. “I think it’s now [been] 10 days he cannot train. We are assessing him. We don’t know what’s going to happen. I remember my press conference after this happened. It was a small issue and it complicated and it’s been between eight and 10 days [since he trained].
“We were waiting for him for six months and he was so close again to feeling comfortable. He started the game against Palace and of course, disappointed with that. We want him as quick as possible to be involved again.” With Nkunku out of the team, the Blues were still able to pick up the three points against Fulham with Cole Palmer on target.
Even though the victory was secured, the west Londoners still looked toothless in attack with Armando Broja struggling to make an impact. Nicolas Jackson will also miss the next few weeks due to participation at the Africa Cup of Nations with Senegal, meaning a new striker could be signed in January.
Pochettino was questioned on this possibility after the game with his firm verdict shortly followed up by a brief but shocking update on Nkunku. “No, it’s not going to affect,” he told the BBC when asked if transfer plans would be altered because of Nkunku’s injury. “We are talking, we are assessing the squad. I think Nkunku is going to be ready as soon as possible.”
Given over 24 hours had surpassed since his last update, it is possible a major breakthrough was made by Nkunku prior to the game against Fulham. The Blues are back in action in the Carabao Cup against Middlesbrough with an injury report and another update from Pochettino likely to arrive before that game at Stamford Bridge.
If Nkunku is out for the long-term, a transfer could be explored this month with Brighton’s Evan Ferguson a name Chelsea are interested in. Pochettino was directly asked about the young forward with his response understandably coy.
“You know very well I don’t talk about rumours or players that are in a different club. We are assessing the squad and if something happens we will communicate that to you. I never said we need a centre-forward. I didn’t say yesterday that we need. I said we are working like other clubs. Trying to assess and see the situations that can appear. I never said we need to add another player.”