“He will be there” – £52m Chelsea star his fit enough to play against Middlesbrough after injury scare
In the realm of Chelsea’s football dynamics, an intriguing twist seems to be unfolding as the enigmatic Mauricio Pochettino might be on the brink of a substantial boon in terms of player availability, injecting a dose of anticipation into the narrative just before the impending Carabao Cup semi-final clash against Middlesbrough slated for Tuesday.
A revelation unfolded from the lips of Pochettino himself in a recent discourse, intricately weaving the tale of Christopher Nkunku’s conspicuous absence during Chelsea’s triumphant 4-0 conquest over Preston North End in the FA Cup’s third-round saga. The culprit? A vexing hip predicament that consigned Nkunku to the sidelines. Yet, the intricacies of this sidelining come under scrutiny, with journalist Santi Aouna offering an alternative perspective, asserting that Nkunku’s hiatus was not an affliction but rather a calculated reprieve orchestrated solely due to the nagging hip issue. Aouna, in a proclamation via X, asserted confidently, “He will be in the squad.”
This revelation serves as a reassuring symphony to the ears of Chelsea aficionados who, having recently witnessed the resurgence of the prodigious forward from a knee injury, now brace themselves for his prospective return to the pitch.
For Pochettino, safeguarding the fitness of Christopher Nkunku becomes paramount. The Argentine maestro, having recently welcomed the forward back into the fold, faces the conundrum of an absent Nicolas Jackson, the primary striking force now absent due to his sojourn in the Africa Cup of Nations. A significant void to fill, given Jackson’s impressive seven-goal tally in 19 Premier League appearances.
Nkunku, an exemplar of offensive prowess, emerges as a pivotal figure capable of seamlessly slotting into the team, a veritable heir to Jackson’s striker mantle, even if not a natural No.9. Hailing from his stint at RB Leipzig, where he amassed a staggering 35 goals in all competitions before his lucrative £52 million transition to Chelsea (as per BBC Sport), Nkunku’s goal-scoring acumen transcends positional constraints, promising a formidable presence wherever he assumes a role in the forward line.
The urgency for Pochettino to preserve Nkunku’s fitness echoes loudly, a task fraught with challenges in the current season’s landscape.
Nevertheless, amidst the labyrinth of concerns, a silver lining surfaces as the purportedly not-so-grave hip ailment provides a glimmer of hope. Optimism ensues that Nkunku might grace the pitch in the first leg of Chelsea’s Carabao Cup semi-final confrontation with Middlesbrough, steering the club towards the hallowed grounds of Wembley and the allure of silverware. A narrative poised on the precipice of unfolding, navigating the delicate balance between injury woes and the tantalizing prospect of footballing glory.