After the first 2 rounds of the 2023/24 Premier League season, the offensive weakness of Chelsea is one of the issues that has been giving Coach Mauricio Pochettino the most headaches. Everyone is still waiting for the Argentine master to find the answer before it’s too late.
Chelsea’s attack is still… ineffective
After 2 matches in the 2023/24 Premier League, Chelsea has only managed to score 2 goals. In the opening 1-1 draw against Liverpool, The Blues got a goal from center-back Axel Disasi joining the attack. In the 1-3 defeat to West Ham, the sole goal for The Blues came from young midfielder Carney Chukwuemeka with a skillful solo dribble inside the penalty area followed by a beautiful curling shot.
In reality, Chelsea’s attack could have been more potent if they hadn’t lost Christopher Nkunku (who joined from RB Leipzig for £56 million). The French striker had been performing excellently and consistently scoring in pre-season matches. Nkunku was also the top scorer of the Bundesliga in the 2022/23 season with 16 goals and carried high expectations.
However, this player suffered an injury in a friendly match against Dortmund on August 3rd. Initially diagnosed with a cartilage injury to his left knee, he had to sit out for a few weeks. But later, doctors announced that Nkunku needed knee surgery and would definitely be sidelined for up to 4 months. The French forward can only return at the beginning of 2024.
With Nkunku’s injury, all plans for Chelsea’s attack had to be abandoned, and they can only rely on Jackson. The Senegalese star possesses physicality, athleticism, speed, strength, and the hunger of a player in his twenties. However, the issue is that he still lacks experience.
In the past 2 matches, Jackson has been playing energetically, but his finishing efficiency has not been high. Currently, this forward is still a potential striker and needs more time for development. He cannot yet be the cornerstone to carry Chelsea’s attack at this moment.
What does Pochettino need to do?
Solving Chelsea’s finishing aspect clearly relies on the talent of Coach Mauricio Pochettino. The Argentine master has previously worked with top strikers like Harry Kane and Son Heung-min at Tottenham, as well as Kylian Mbappe, Neymar, and Lionel Messi at PSG. Therefore, Pochettino is no stranger to maximizing the strengths of top-class strikers.
Pochettino is the one who transformed Kane into a deadly striker and elevated Son Heung-min’s game. He also helped Mbappe achieve an impressive 39 goals in 46 matches (season 2021/22). And now, people are waiting to see if Pochettino can make Chelsea’s strikers shine.
The question for Pochettino is how he will transform the attack? Will he have the patience for players like Jackson, Sterling, or Mudryk to regain their top form, or will he initiate personnel changes to rejuvenate the attack?
Or perhaps, the fastest solution could be for Chelsea to bring in another striker in the final week of the Summer transfer window? This might be the easiest option considering owner Todd Boehly has never shied away from spending money. The issue then becomes who Chelsea will buy to quickly address the attacking headache.
In fact, right after Nkunku’s injury, the question arose whether Chelsea would buy another forward. Pochettino has had 2 matches to find an answer, and perhaps he needs to dive into the transfer market before it’s too late.
Money doesn’t always equate to quality
After 2 matches, Chelsea’s forwards still haven’t made their mark on the scoresheet. This is somewhat perplexing considering The Blues have invested a considerable amount to bring in numerous attacking stars at not-so-cheap prices. Notable names include Raheem Sterling (£47.5 million), Mykhailo Mudryk (£89 million), and Nicolas Jackson (£30 million).
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