Pochettino to be patient with Nkunku return

Mauricio Pochettino has said he will take a patient approach with Christopher Nkunku’s introduction into the Chelsea side.

Nkunku made his debut as a substitute during the Carabao Cup quarter-final win over Chelsea on Tuesday, with the Frenchman having been sidelined since pre-season with a knee issue.


The forward’s return has caused excitement at Chelsea, with the summer recruit having finished as the joint-leading scorer in the Bundesliga at RB Leipzig last season.

Chelsea face Wolves in the Premier League on Christmas Eve and, ahead of the game, Pochettino has warned the West London side’s supporters that Nkunku is not ready to be thrust into action.

“Everyone was excited because we want to see him involved in the game. We know the quality [he has] and [his] capacity to help the team in a very good way,” the Argentine said at his pre-match press conference.

“We need to be patient and give time to give him the capacity to find his best form.

“To play from the beginning, it is too early to see him start the game, but maybe in the next few games we are going to consider him to start – but not at the moment.”

Pochettino also provided an update on the fitness of Reece James and said he expects the Chelsea captain to be out for ‘several weeks’ with a hamstring complaint.

“The most important thing is to help him to be strong and positive. We can support Reece to be in his best form and recover as soon as possible.

“We hope it will be several weeks, but we don’t know for sure.

“The most important thing is to see him again here with us and assess him day by day.

“Hopefully it will be less than several months. That is my wish, but we cannot say – about the way his body is going to react.”

Read – Eight talking points ahead of the Premier League action

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