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I think the will be a Good replacement for Nicolas Jackson

Mauricio Pochettino handed Nicolas Jackson blow as Todd Boehly faced with new transfer request
Nicolas Jackson could be in Senegal’s African Cup of Nations squad for the competition that begins in January, with Chelsea already looking short of forwards

Much has been made of Nicolas Jackson’s early season form. The Senegal international enjoyed an exciting pre-season, but has not quite found his finishing touch in the opening games of the season.

His strike in the win against Luton Town is the only goal he was able to record before heading out on international duty. The 22-year-old has shown promising aspects to his all-round game, and obviously works hard for the team to take an important role early in Mauricio Pochettino’s tenure.

The Blues boss said: “That is fantastic because his work ethic is amazing and then to have the quality because he’s fast, can run in behind, you can see the quality into the feet. It’s only a matter of time before he scores goals also. It is difficult to find a player like him in the market. For me he has the potential to be a great striker. Only with time and we can’t rush him, give him space to grow and his qualities are fantastic.”

Some frustration is perhaps understandable with some disappointing misses. Equally the positive number of expected goals that Jackson has produced is both reassuring and disappointing. As per FBref, Jackson has recorded an xG of three goals in his four matches in 2023/24, only behind Bryan Mbeumo and Erling Haaland.

What became clear against Nottingham Forest however, rather than any revelation about his talents, was how few options the Blues had to replace him on a day where things were not working out.

On that afternoon Pochettino only had Deivid Washington to call from the bench as an out-and-out forward. Armando Broja is still working his way back to full first team training, while Christopher Nkunku was another option up front in pre-season and has been ruled out for months following the injury he suffered against Borussia Dortmund.

Chelsea decided against signing a further striker in the final week of the transfer window, and it is a situation that could cause concern come January.

Jackson, should he retain his place in Senegal’s squad, will depart to participate in the African Cup of Nations in Ivory Coast which runs from January 13 until February 11. The Lions have qualified for the competition even before this week’s match against Rwanda.

Broja will be back in action well in advance of that point, while Nkunku’s return date is shrouded in uncertainty. The Frenchman’s recovery is still said to be in the early stages but could return in the early stages of winter.

The fitness of that duo may dictate how active the Blues are set to be in the January transfer window. Taiwo Awoniyi has already been linked to the club, as has Brentford forward Ivan Toney whose ban is set to end in January 2024.

Broja in particular will have his opportunity to truly push his claim under Pochettino, to be able to lead the attack during that period. The 51-year-old head coach was conscious in August of blocking Broja’s path, the Albania international will now need to prove that decision correct.

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