Chelsea's Secret Weapon: Christopher Nkunku, the Next Kylian Mbappe, Awaits Injury Comeback


Chelsea’s Secret Weapon: Christopher Nkunku, the Next Kylian Mbappe, Awaits Injury Comeback

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Christopher Nkunku’s arrival at Chelsea may hold the key to the development of a certain Chelsea star, with the potential to mold him into a player reminiscent of his French compatriot, Kylian Mbappe. These two talented individuals, Nkunku and Mbappe, have forged a strong friendship over the years, having risen through the ranks together in international football and even sharing the same pitch as teammates at Paris Saint-Germain for two seasons before Nkunku’s move to RB Leipzig in 2019.

After a highly productive three-year stint in Germany, Chelsea secured Nkunku’s services through a pre-contract agreement, positioning him to join the team for the 2023/24 season. Unfortunately, an injury during pre-season sidelined him, delaying his competitive debut. Nevertheless, his recent progress suggests he’s on the path to recovery.

The absence of Nkunku has been keenly felt during Mauricio Pochettino’s initial months at the helm of Chelsea. However, Pochettino has managed to strike a balance among his attacking players. The likes of Raheem Sterling, Cole Palmer, Mykhailo Mudryk, Armando Broja, and Nicolas Jackson have all contributed to recent victories over Fulham and Burnley, positioning Chelsea favorably prior to the international break.

Pochettino now finds himself in the enviable position of having his senior attackers hitting top form. Still, there’s another name in contention who could be the perfect partner for Nkunku. In a recent match for England’s Under-21 squad against Serbia, Noni Madueke, another Chelsea star, shared the pitch with Palmer and made a compelling statement. Madueke’s season began with disruptions due to injury sustained during the Under-21 European championships in the summer. To make matters more challenging, he was spotted partying during his supposed recovery period when Premier League action commenced.

However, in the game against Serbia, Madueke showcased his potential with two outstanding goals in a resounding 9-1 victory. Following the match, Madueke shed light on his training regimen and his sources of inspiration, including Mbappe and Mohamed Salah—news that would surely resonate with Nkunku. Madueke mentioned, “One thing I’ve got to add to my game is the easier goals, the one-touch goals – that’s what I’m trying to improve.” He elaborated on his training, saying, “I work very hard on the last bit. I know I go at such pace, so sometimes I’ve got to calm down at the last moment, take a breath and then slot it away. Our analyst has clipped up Mbappe and Salah, so I watch them a lot. It’s the way they always follow their pass into the box, or when a team-mate is in the box, they’re always there to anticipate.”

Furthermore, Madueke revealed the personalized guidance he receives from former Chelsea player Ashley Cole to improve his game. He acknowledged his strengths in one-on-one situations but expressed the desire to score and assist more. In the match against Serbia, he notched two impressive goals—one characteristic of his usual style and another a one-touch finish. He expressed pride in his performance and confidence in his abilities, asserting that things will soon fall into place. It’s clear that he believes in his potential and is determined to make a significant impact.


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