Mauricio Pochettino makes Christopher Nkunku plea ahead of Chelsea debut

Chelsea are back in League Cup action on Tuesday evening when they host Newcastle in a quarter-final tie.

With no European football and a title charge already out of the picture, the Blues will be desperate to go as far as possible in this competition. Back Chelsea to beat Newcastle at 4/5 with bet365.

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December 19, 2023

8:00 pm GMT

Mauricio Pochettino makes Christopher Nkunku plea

Ahead of taking on Newcastle, Mauricio Pochettino has urged Chelsea fans not to expect the world from Christopher Nkunku prior to his long-awaited debut for the club.

Nkunku was an unused substitute in the 2-0 win at home to Sheffield United at the weekend after finally recovering from his pre-season injury.

Pochettino revealed that Nkunku was held back at the weekend but could finally debut against Newcastle in the League Cup on Tuesday night:

“The reality was [that] he wasn’t a player to be involved at 2-0 - I didn’t want to take a risk with him,” Pochettino admitted.

“How I see him today? Maybe he can play 20 minutes. Before Sheffield United, in my mind I had one or two per cent of doubt, that is why I did not want to take a risk. That is how I explained it to him.

“I need to be 100 per cent. It was good for him to feel the warm-up and be with the team. That was amazing. Why take a risk when it was 2-0, when I was thinking I didn’t know if it was the right moment?”

He added: “My worry is putting too much pressure on him and saying now he has arrived, this guy is going to make us win every single game and change everything. I don’t believe it will be like this because he now needs time to recover his feeling.

“I hope that starts tomorrow. Maybe [he can] play and score three goals and then be consistent. The most important thing is not to create too much pressure on him. He needs to find himself, find the competition and then adapt to a team that was competing without him for the last four or five months.”

Josh Barker

Josh Barker

Middlesbrough fan from the North East of England. @JoshBarker979 on Twitter.