Chelsea may sign new striker after fresh Christopher Nkunku injury

  • Nkunku has picked up hip problem after spending months out with knee injury
  • Nicolas Jackson away at AFCON with Senegal, leaving Armando Broja as only fit striker at Stamford Bridge
  • Mauricio Pochettino admits Chelsea will now consider options
Christopher Nkunku has picked up another injury
Christopher Nkunku has picked up another injury / Visionhaus/GettyImages

Mauricio Pochettino has admitted that Chelsea may be forced into signing a striker in January because of Christopher Nkunku's latest injury woe.

The 26-year-old has played just four times for Chelsea after missing the first five months of the season with a serious knee injury, and has now been sidelined by a hip problem.

The Blues have relied on Nicolas Jackson, another recruit last summer, to fill the void up front, but he's currently away at the Africa Cup of Nations with Senegal. That leaves Armando Broja, another player who has endured a glut of injury problems, as the club's only fit recognised centre forward.

Asked by the media ahead of Chelsea's west London derby with Fulham about whether a new signing will be considered, head coach Pochettino admitted: "It's true that now in the next few days, we are going to see the situation. That's why I told you that I am a little worried.

"I still don't have all the information about whether [Nkunku] is going to be available or not for a small initial period. We need to be very clinical to take some decisions to think and see how we fix the problem.

"All of these situations make our job a little more difficult. I told you before that it is an exciting project but situations like this make it more difficult to change the situation and grow at a different pace."

Mauricio Pochettino
Pochettino is keeping his options open / Richard Sellers/Allstar/GettyImages

However, after the game, which was won by a Cole Palmer penalty, Pochettino insisted he was not specifically calling for a new striker to be signed, only that Chelsea must be ready to explore their options if Nkunku's injury proves to be a serious one.

"I never said we needed a centre forward. After that, it creates a problem with me and my people. I never said that," he stressed.

"I didn't say that yesterday in my press conference that we need [another striker], I said we are working like another club to assess and see the market for different situations that can appear. The most important thing is the club is ready to act in another direction, but I never said we need another player, to add another player in the squad."

Palmer leads the team's scoring charts with nine strikes in the Premier League this season, with Jackson narrowly behind on seven.