Mauricio Pochettino will be hoping that Christopher Nkunku can open the floodgates at Stamford Bridge upon his return from injury

A new statistic has shown that Mauricio Pochettino is more than capable of transforming Chelsea into a Premier League title challenger, but there’s one issue – Christopher Nkunku. The 25-year-old forward, who joined the Blues from RB Leipzig in the summer for around £52million, was dealt a major blow to his knee during a pre-season clash against Borussia Dortmund in the United States.

Nkunku has recently stepped up his rehabilitation, but he remains some way off from making his competitive debut for the club. Over the last month or so, the France international has posted numerous pictures of himself in the gym, in the swimming pool and undergoing various medical tests.

In fact, he’s recently taken a huge step forward on his road to recovery. For the very first time since the summer, Nkunku was spotted outside on the training pitches at Cobham in his Chelsea gear, suggesting that the talisman could be back sooner rather than later.

Mauricio Pochettino might have to still wait a couple of more weeks before reintroducing Nkunku, but the floodgates are expected to burst open upon the Frenchman’s return. According to Sky Sports, Chelsea have won nine out of ten Premier League games on xG (expected goals) this season.

Thanks to the likes of Erling Haaland and Julian Alvarez, only Manchester City have managed to match the Blues’ impressive record. Sharing second place is Brighton and Newcastle United with eight xG victories, with Arsenal and Tottenham coming in at joint-third with just seven wins from 10.

If Nkunku can have the desired impact in front of goal upon his return from the treatment room then he could very well propel Chelsea up the English top-flight. Ironically the Blues struggled in front of goal against Blackburn Rovers in the Carabao Cup mid-week and Pochettino insisted that his players need to build their confidence.

“Of course but after Saturday it was important for us to win the game and go through the competition,” said the Chelsea manager. “Of course too many chances, we need to be more clinical, that you cannot change from Saturday to today.

“It’s about time to build the confidence. I think too many positive things. Important to stay and go through in this competition, that is important for us and build confidence. Players like [Benoit] Badiashile and Reece James to play one hour is important.

“We were talking with Jesus and the coaching staff, it looks like in November a pre-season game because of this situation. Too many positive things, now we go forward to the next round but now to prepare for the next two games before the international break.”

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