Christopher Nkunku will play for Chelsea for the first time this season when they host Sheffield United on Saturday, according to manager Mauricio Pochettino. Nkunku joined from RB Leipzig in July, but he needed surgery to repair a knee injury he sustained during preseason.
“Yes, he can be involved. That is very good news,” Pochettino told a press conference.
“To be involved and be in the squad and to feel the competition after the pre-season is good news for us. We need to be calm and quiet so as not to put all the pressure on him. Now he’s going to evolve, know the Premier League.” Added Pochettino.
Chelsea have been plagued by injuries since the beginning of the season, and there was more bad news last weekend as three players were forced off hurt during the 2-0 defeat at Everton.
Recce James, who had previously missed seven league games due to a hamstring injury earlier in the season, suffered a similar ailment against Everton and had to be substituted after 27 minutes.
“I prefer not to talk too much now. He’s a little bit down because he was very excited to come back. How we built him back was step by step, it was in a perfect way, we tried to build his confidence and full recovery and for him it’s difficult to accept, very frustrated.” Pochettino said.
In the Everton game, defender Marc Cucurella and goalkeeper Robert Sanchez were both injured, with replacement ‘keeper Djordje Petrovic making his first appearance for Chelsea since joining from the New England Revolution in August.