Chelsea: Mauricio Pochettino rates Christopher Nkunku’s Wrexham debut | Football


Nkunku grabbed a goal in the 5-0 win over Wrexham (Picture: Getty)

Mauricio Pochettino has explained he utilised Christopher Nkunku in a number no9 role in the friendly win over Wrexham due to the lack of other striker options in his Chelsea squad.

The Blues eased to a 5-0 win over the League Two side in Florida in the early hours of Thursday morning in what was Pochettino’s first game in charge.

Nicolas Jackson, signed from Villarreal in a £32million deal this summer, led the line from the start, providing an assist for Ian Maatsen’s opener with Nkunku introduced at half-time.

The France international got on the score sheet himself in added time.

‘I am happy because of the attitude and now is time to improve,’ Pochettino said in his post-match press conference.

‘It is part of the process to plan the way we want to play and of course be in the physical condition also. I am happy with the performance and we keep going.’

Asked specifically about Nkunku’s performance, he added: ‘The most important thing now is to get good feelings.

Christopher Nkunku celebrates scoring for Chelsea

The Frenchman replaced Nicolas Jackson at half-time (Picture: Getty)

‘We start again to play now after the holidays. There are players who didn’t play, other players [who] came  are at different levels and now it is about getting everyone at similar level to try and compete for the things this season.’

With Romelu Lukaku and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang expected to leave the club in the coming weeks, Chelsea are in the market for another option up front.

Nkunku developed a reputation as a ruthless finisher during his time with RB Leipzig and regularly featured in a role off the main striker.

With options through the middle limited for the time being, Pochettino suggested he does not see Nkunku’s regular role being as a no9 having deployed him in that makeshift role against Wrexham.

‘I think for the possibility today and the different players we have available and I think it’s a position we decide today… we only have Jackson and him with the possibility to play as a striker,’ Pochettino said.

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