Chelsea handed another Christopher Nkunku injury blow

  • Nkunku has been plagued with injures since moving to Stamford Bridge
  • Frenchman was a second-half substitute during Chelsea's Carabao Cup final defeat to Liverpool
  • £52m summer signing has played just nine games for Blues

Nkunku can't catch a break with injuries
Nkunku can't catch a break with injuries / Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/GettyImages

Chelsea have been dealt a fresh Christopher Nkunku injury blow ahead of Wednesday's FA Cup fifth round clash with Leeds United.

The 26-year-old has only played nine times for the Blues all season, owing to a serious knee injury picked up in August and a hip problem sustained in January.

Nkunku came off the bench during Sunday's Carabao Cup final defeat to Liverpool at Wembley, but was unable to play a meaningful role as Mauricio Pochettino's side lost out thanks to Virgil van Dijk's late headed winner.

In a further blow to Pochettino, the former PSG and Tottenham Hotspur boss will again be without the services of Nkunku, revealing in his latest pre-match press conference that injury has struck again.

"We need to see and evaluate every day but he's out for three or four weeks,” the Argentine confirmed. “We hope no more.

“It’s difficult for him. We watched him when he arrived in pre-season. He was flying on the training pitch until he got injured. Now it is nearly eight months and he has been involved again but it is not the same player as before.

Mauricio Pochettino
Nkunku's new issue is another blow for under-pressure Mauricio Pochettino / James Gill - Danehouse/GettyImages

“We have in our head the amazing Nkunku from pre-season but it is not the same player because of the circumstances. That’s why it is sometimes unfair when we judge."

Nkunku was one of Chelsea's marquee summer signings, costing the club £52m, but he hasn't been able to impact proceedings at Stamford Bridge. The Frenchman has scored just twice in nine games, with his ongoing fitness struggles affecting his ability to develop any kind of rhythm.

His woes are doubly disappointing because of his impressive goal record in Germany. Nkunku finished as the Bundesliga's top scorer last season, scoring 16 goals in 25 games, and he broke into the France national team having scored 35 times for Leipzig in all competitions during 2021/22.

Nkunku was named Bundesliga Player of the Season in that year, and also featured in the Europa League Team of the Season after scoring 11 goals in 12 appearances.