Pochettino must drop Madueke and unleash Chelsea's "game changer"

pochettino must drop madueke and unleash chelsea's

Pochettino must drop Madueke and unleash Chelsea's "game changer"

Chelsea will bring the curtain down on the 2023/24 season this afternoon when they host AFC Bournemouth at Stamford Bridge. For the Blues, it represents a chance to secure European qualification after a season out of continental competition.

It was an achievement that seemed unlikely a few months ago, but some great form in recent weeks has ensured they turned things around. The Blues have lost just one league game since the start of March, the 5-0 drubbing at the hands of title-chasing Arsenal.

In May, Chelsea have won all four of their games, scoring 12 goals along the way, and conceding just three. Notably, they handed out a 5-0 thrashing of their own, against West Ham United, and most recently beat Brighton and Hove Albion 2-1. Only Arsenal and Manchester City have won their last four games in the Premier League.

A large part of their good form has thanks been thanks to Cole Palmer, the newly-crowned Premier League Young Player of the Year winner. He has scored 22 goals and has registered ten assists in the Premier League this season.

Chelsea have also had some big players return to fitness recently, such as captain Reece James, although he was sent off against Brighton. Mauricio Pochettino will likely have some selection headaches ahead of the Bournemouth game, including one dilemma, potentially dropping a player who has shown flashes of good form of late.

Noni Maduekes stats vs. Brighton

The player in question here is England under-21 international Noni Madueke, who, despite a tough outing against Brighton, has been in good form in recent weeks. The former PSV man has four goals and assists in his last five games for Chelsea.

However, against the Seagulls, Madueke struggled. As per Sofascore, the 22-year-old completed just one out of his six dribble attempts and won only two of his seven attempted ground duels. He also lost the ball seven times, earning a mere 5/10 match rating from GOAL's Jacob Schneider as a result.

With that being said, Madueke has played well at times this season, showing flashes of the form he had at PSV - where he registered 34 goal involvements in 80 games. The fleet-footed winger currently has eight goals and three assists in all competitions this term, with seven of those goal involvements coming in 22 Premier League games - a solid return overall.

However, it could well be the case that Pochettino decides to rotate Madueke out of the side, in favour of one of Chelsea’s returning stars, who has struggled with injury but came off the bench to score against Brighton.

The player to replace Madueke

It has not been an easy first season in the blue of Chelsea for Christopher Nkunku, with injuries hampering his debut campaign at Stamford Bridge. However, he has shown good form when fit and got on the scoresheet at the Amex.

Nkunku played 48 minutes against Roberto De Zerbi's side, scoring a crucial second goal in the 64th minute. Outside of that, he completed one dribble, won five of the nine duels he contested and won two out of his three tackles, as well as creating one chance.

The France international has played just ten Premier League games this season, scoring three goals in that time, against Wolverhampton Wanderers, Liverpool and Brighton. Sadly, he has missed 39 games through injury this campaign, with four different injuries affecting his season, according to Transfermarkt.

Nkunku's injuries in 2023/24

Injury

Days missed

Games missed

Knee

109

15

Fitness

43

7

Hip

23

5

Hamstring

67

12

Stats from Transfermarkt

Should he come back into the side against Bournemouth from the start, Nkunku could well slot in as a number ten behind first-choice striker Nicolas Jackson, which would see Cole Palmer move back out to the right wing. Alternatively, Nkunku could play on the left-hand side, as a direct replacement for the injured Mykhaylo Mudryk.

Pochettino certainly has options, and one thing is for sure; Nkunku is a “real game changer”, a phrase used by football writer Rahman Osman to describe Chelsea’s view on Nkunku. The former RB Leipzig star can be a huge difference for the west Londoners against Bournemouth, as they look to secure an unlikely European finish and end the season on a high.

Related

Chelsea's 8/10 "monster" outshone both Palmer & Nkunku

The brilliant Blues ace put in a Man-of-the-Match-like performance against Brighton.

OTHER NEWS

23 minutes ago

Liverpool legend Alan Hansen discharged from hospital

23 minutes ago

DWP algorithm wrongly flags 200,000 people for possible fraud and error

23 minutes ago

Austin Corbett ready to roll at center for Carolina

23 minutes ago

Toronto Blue Jays No. 2 prospect, shortstop Orelvis Martínez, suspended for PED violation

23 minutes ago

Apple, Meta have discussed AI partnership: media report

23 minutes ago

Open thread: Best dark-horse candidate to make Detroit Lions 2024 roster

23 minutes ago

Alberta NDP elect new leader

23 minutes ago

England bowls first against United States in crunch Super Eight game at T20 World Cup

29 minutes ago

Video: The gender reveal surprise that went pop: Father-to-be accidentally bursts balloon filled with confetti ahead of family party

29 minutes ago

Video: LISTEN: On today's EUROS DAILY, Will Luke Shaw pull on a shirt for England in Germany?

29 minutes ago

Video: Euro 2024 postcard: The streets of Germany are bonkers and beautiful - but it feels like a country struggling to cope with the visiting fans

29 minutes ago

Video: The heartbeat of the team that led England's revival is gone... Gareth Southgate could be forgiven for pining for three stars who aren't in Germany, writes SAMI MOKBEL

30 minutes ago

The surprising cause of most global deaths, and how we can stop it

31 minutes ago

Trump will return to Reagan’s ‘peace through strength’ style of foreign policy

31 minutes ago

Australia v India: Marsh backs team to come good in must-win clash at T20 World Cup

31 minutes ago

‘A wonderful example’ – Pepe takes Euros by storm at the age of 41

32 minutes ago

Russia says U.S. is responsible for deadly Ukrainian attack on Crimea

32 minutes ago

Audrey Leduc locked in on improving ahead of trials, and Olympics

32 minutes ago

Second Sydney farm infected with bird flu

32 minutes ago

Elevated threat of severe storms and floods Sunday in S. Ontario

32 minutes ago

Donald Trump Complains About Being Called 'Cognitively Impaired'

32 minutes ago

Why everyone loves a comeback (unless you're a Panthers fan)

32 minutes ago

Another furniture chain files Chapter 7 bankruptcy, closes down

32 minutes ago

Aston Villa sign forward Dobbin from Everton

32 minutes ago

'Everything is at stake' for reproductive rights in 2024, Harris says as Biden-Trump debate nears

32 minutes ago

Why The Cast Of The Acolyte Looks So Familiar

32 minutes ago

Dangerous rip currents persist for Atlantic and Gulf coasts following series of drownings

34 minutes ago

Rideshare driver shot in Burnside, Chicago police say

35 minutes ago

Simone Ashley Stands Up For ‘Bridgerton’ Co-Star Nicola Coughlan Following Body-Shaming Comments: “Haters Are Going To Hate”

37 minutes ago

Young pitch invader that snapped a selfie with Cristiano Ronaldo escapes punishment from UEFA as his father reveals Euro 2024 organisers 'turned a blind eye' to 10-year-old's actions

37 minutes ago

Video: Jay Slater's father struggles to hold back tears as he pleads 'I just want my boy back' - after Brit, 19, went missing a week ago

37 minutes ago

Video: Westfield Marion The shocking moment an altercation sparked a Adelaide shopping centre lockdown, sparking flashbacks of the Bondi Junction rampage

37 minutes ago

DR ELLIE CANNON: At 73, is it possible I have developed Asperger's syndrome?

37 minutes ago

Liverpool place £20m price tag on midfielder Tyler Morton amid interest from RB Leipzig, Bournemouth, Southampton and Ipswich Town

37 minutes ago

Video: Dave Fishwick is cagey as he breaks silence on reportedly signing up to Strictly Come Dancing, admitting 'I can't possibly comment, I would be in real trouble'

37 minutes ago

Tommy Paul beats Lorenzo Musetti to clinch Queen's Club title and become top ranked American... as world No 1 Jannik Sinner wins in Halle ahead of Wimbledon

37 minutes ago

As we enter the summer party season, seven ways to avoid the nightmare of wearing what she's wearing

37 minutes ago

My agony at the day my daughter, 20, went for a hike on holiday in the South of France - and the terrible twist of fate that meant she never came back

37 minutes ago

Scottish fans sheltering an old man from the rain is immortalised on German trains after Mail Sport's video of the wholesome moment went viral on social media

37 minutes ago

Gareth Southgate is left sweating over Kieran Trippier's fitness for crunch final Euro 2024 group stage fixture against Slovenia - with full back still struggling with calf injury he picked up for Newcastle last season