Premier League • England

Mauricio Pochettino reveals Nkunku plan after debut Chelsea goal in overnight rout of Wrexham

Christopher Nkunku Chelsea v Wrexham

Christopher Nkunku Chelsea v Wrexham

Mauricio Pochettino has explained why he chose to utilise Christopher Nkunku in central striker role in the friendly win over Wrexham in the United States overnight.

The Blues eased to a 5-0 win over the League Two outfit in Florida in the early hours of Thursday morning in what was Pochettino’s first game in charge of the club.

Nicolas Jackson, signed from Villarreal in a £32million deal this summer, led the line from the start, providing an assist for Ian Maatsen’s opener with Nkunku introduced at half-time.

The France international then got on the score sheet himself in added time.

“I am happy because of the attitude and now is time to improve,” Pochettino said in his post-match press conference.

“It is part of the process to plan the way we want to play and of course be in the physical condition also. I am happy with the performance and we keep going.”

Asked specifically about Nkunku’s second-half display, he added: “The most important thing now is to get good feelings.

“We start again to play now after the holidays. There are players who didn’t play, other players [who] came are at different levels and now it is about getting everyone at similar level to try and compete for the things this season.”

Chelsea still remain the marker for another option in attack, especially with Romelu Lukaku and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang expected to leave the club in the coming weeks.

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Pochettino not ruling out Nkunku striker role

Nkunku actually developed a reputation as a ruthless finisher during his time with RB Leipzig and often lined up as a No.9 for the Bundesliga side.

But with options through the middle limited for the time being, Pochettino suggested he does not necessarily see Nkunku’s regular role being through the middle – as it was against the Ryan Reynolds-owned side.

The Argentine added: “I think for the possibility today and the different players we have available and I think it’s a position we decide today… we only have Jackson and him with the possibility to play as a striker.”

Chelsea are back in pre-season action on Saturday when they take on Brighton in Philadelphia.

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