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Mauricio Pochettino Faces Chelsea Sack: Christopher Nkunku Truth

Mauricio Pochettino Faces Chelsea Sack: Christopher Nkunku Truth 

-Bobby Vincent

All season-long, the general thought process from many supporters has been: ‘Wait until Christopher Nkunku is back and we will be fine’. But what if that is not the case?

Let’s not forget here; Nkunku is yet to play a competitive match in English football since making the £52million move from RB Leipzig in the summer transfer window. The 26-year-old, while more than proving himself in Germany with 36 goals and 21 assists over the last two seasons in the Bundesliga, is likely going to need time to adapt to the Premier League.

Some players don’t. Some players take to it seamlessly. But they are very few and far between.

Not only this, but couple it with the fact that Nkunku has been sidelined since August 3, over four months ago, with a knee injury he suffered in pre-season. Let’s throw something else in there, too Nkunku has a lot, and it is increasing with every game Chelsea lose, of expectation on his shoulders.

The Blues have lost three consecutive away matches in the Premier League and Mauricio Pochettino is coming under more scrutiny with the club’s fan base with every defeat. Sunday’s 2-0 loss at Everton saw Chelsea and Pochettino ridiculed for their efforts at Goodison Park, with some calls for the head coach to be relieved of his duties.

However, understands Chelsea have no plans, at the time of writing, of sacking Pochettino. The Blues still have firm belief that the Argentine can turn things around at Stamford Bridge and are planning on backing their man.

Results, though, have to improve sooner or later otherwise his position at the club will surely become untenable. He is well aware that progress on the pitch needs to be showcased this season. While it is by all means a transitional period for Chelsea, indications of progress and success will go a long way in winning over the supporters and keeping the owners on side.

Pochettino will be hopeful whenever Nkunku does return to action, that the France international will be able to hit the ground running for Chelsea. The Blues now have a bit more of a break, in this ridiculously hectic period, between now and their next game.

Sheffield United, who are rock-bottom of the Premier League table with just eight points to their name, come to Stamford Bridge at the weekend. Nkunku is expected to train with his teammates at Cobham throughout the week, with Chelsea and Pochettino hoping he will be back for the trip of the Blades.

“He is a player, a fantastic player that was top scorer in the Bundesliga and he can play in different positions,” Pochettino said on Nkunku last month. “His quality is amazing.

“Really bad luck to lose him for the beginning of the season and to have the possibility for him to help the team. We are going to find the best way for him to fit with the team.”

How and where Chelsea will use Nkunku is yet to be discovered. During pre-season, he often operated playing just behind Nicolas Jackson. The Frenchman, however, can also go on either wing and be used as the focal point up front.

Wherever he is used, patience is likely to be required. It is difficult, granted, for Chelsea supporters to be too patient at the moment given what is happening on the pitch, but at the same time, Nkunku has been missing for over a third of a year through injury so it is likely that he is going to need time and minutes on the pitch before we see him anywhere near his best.

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