HomeChelsea boss Pochettino frustrated by Nkunku setbacks

Chelsea boss Pochettino frustrated by Nkunku setbacks

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Mauricio Pochettino has expressed his frustration at failing to see the best of Christopher Nkunku in a Chelsea shirt after revealing the winger is facing another three to four weeks on the sidelines due to injury.

Nkunku joined the Blues from RB Leipzig over the summer for a reported £52million but has made just 10 appearances in all competitions due to a variety of niggles.

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He is not available for tomorrow night’s FA Cup fifth-round clash at home to Leeds United and could miss almost a month if Pochettino’s worst fears are realised.

The under-pressure Chelsea boss said: “We heard yesterday that Christopher Nkunku was injured. We don’t know when he got injured.

“We need to see. At the moment, it’s three or four weeks maybe out. We hope no more.”

A fit and firing Nkunku, who played for over an hour in Sunday’s EFL Cup final defeat to Liverpool, would be a huge asset for Pochettino, although the Argentine’s first thought was for the 26-year-old.

“It is difficult for him,” said Pochettino. “He was flying in pre-season until he got the knee injury and now it’s nearly eight months and even when he was ready to be involved again, he was never the same player as before.

“We have in our head the best Nkunku that everyone knows from Germany, but that isn’t the same player. That is why it is unfair to judge. The situation is always completely different.

“In that case, for the team, yes it is not a good thing for us. We cannot provide the team a player that can perform and score goals.”

Sunday’s Wembley setback was demoralising for Chelsea but Pochettino insists his players have put it behind them and are now fully focused on Championship high-flyers Leeds.

“We are all tired, always when you lose a final it is not easy to recover,” he added. “But I am so happy, they really focus and recover. If you ask all the players today, they want to be involved tomorrow in the game.

“We cannot win the EFL Cup but we need to move on. I am happy because they have reacted well and are in a positive moment.”

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.

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