Jamie Carragher has issued a warning to Chelsea, advising them to exercise caution when it comes to their expectations for Christopher Nkunku following his return from injury. Nkunku, who was signed from RB Leipzig, has been regarded as a solution to Chelsea’s goalscoring issues, but Carragher suggests that he may need time to adapt and prove himself in the English Premier League.
Chelsea had been struggling to score goals before Nkunku’s arrival, with just 13 goals in their first 10 league games of the season. The club has faced a consistent problem in recent years, with no striker reaching more than 15 goals since Tammy Abraham in the 2019/20 season, and Diego Costa being the last to net 20 in a single season. Nkunku’s signing was expected to change that narrative.
The 25-year-old has been one of the most prolific players in Europe since 2020, contributing to 35 goals during the 2021/22 campaign and adding another 16 goals in Germany the following year, despite missing over three months due to injury.
However, Nkunku is yet to make a competitive debut for Chelsea after being sidelined for around four months during pre-season due to a significant injury. Carragher suggests that expectations should be tempered as Nkunku needs time to regain full fitness and adapt to English football. He pointed out that, while Nkunku is undoubtedly a talented player, he has yet to prove himself in the Premier League.
Pochettino, Chelsea’s manager, has also expressed the importance of Nkunku’s return and his potential to provide goals to the team. Nkunku was the top scorer in the Bundesliga last season despite playing in just over half of the matches, showcasing his dynamic abilities when fully fit. Pochettino has not ruled out the possibility of making additional signings in January to strengthen the team’s offensive options.
Carragher’s cautionary words suggest that patience is needed regarding Nkunku’s impact on Chelsea’s goalscoring performance, and the club should not place undue pressure on him as he adapts to the Premier League.