Chelsea could be set to unleash a deadly strike partnership of Nicolas Jackson and Christopher Nkunku over the busy Christmas period. The latter finally made his competitive debut for the Blues in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday night, and his first Premier League appearance awaits.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side have made an underwhelming start to the season, winning just six of their opening 17 matches and prompting many to question how the club are underperforming despite spending over £1billion in recent transfer windows.
The Blues have lacked a spark in the final third for the majority of the campaign, with Cole Palmer being largely their sole supplier of creative opportunities. The England international has impressed in the No 10 role and has been the shining light of the season so far, though his stint in the role could be set to come to an abrupt end.
Jackson, who has scored seven goals in 16 league matches, appears in desperate need of a second striker since arriving in England. Although a raw talent, the Senegal international has showcased his potential as a target man by making use of his height and power to hold the ball up and drop deep to link up play.
The ex-Villarreal star has frequently created plenty of space in behind, and Nkunku could thrive if deployed in the No 10 role as a result. The France international flourished in the role whilst at RB Leipzig, with his versatility also catching the eye of Chelsea, and he could hit the ground running in partnered up with Jackson at Stamford Bridge.
The pair enjoyed almost a full pre-season together where they would have worked as a duo and they were able to put their partnership to the test during the short stints that they led the line in Chelsea’s tour of the United States.
As a result, Palmer could be rotated out of his attacking midfield role by Pochettino over the coming weeks to trial Nkunku behind Jackson – with a return to the right-wing firmly on the cards for the ex-Manchester City star.