Chelsea star backed to become ‘top-class’ under Mauricio Pochettino | Football

Ex-manager Harry Redknapp and Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino (Pictures: Getty)

Harry Redknapp has backed Nicolas Jackson to become a ‘top-class number nine’ under Mauricio Pochettino and named the Chelsea star who is getting ‘better and better’.

Jackson has experienced a mixed first season at Stamford Bridge following last summer’s £32m move from Villarreal, scoring 16 goals but attracting criticism for his wayward finishing.

That being said, Jackson’s all-round game has been praised by the likes of ex-Arsenal and England striker Ian Wright, who believes he can go to another level next season.

Redknapp has echoed Wright’s sentiment, saying the Senegal striker can develop into a prolific striker at Chelsea over the next few years.

‘I think Nicolas Jackson gets a bit too much stick at times,’ the former manager told BetVictor after naming the Chelsea star in his Premier League Team of the Week.

‘I know he has missed quite a few chances, but he’s still got 13 goals in the league so far and you forget he’s only 22 and in his first year at the club. 

‘He never stops running and does so much good work in terms of his hold-up play. If he can keep working on his finishing, he could develop into a top-class number nine.’ 

Chelsea striker Nicolas Jackson

Redknapp sees much promise in Chelsea striker Nicolas Jackson (Picture: Getty)

Redknapp also named Jackson’s Chelsea team-mate Noni Madueke in his Team of the Week after he scored and made an assist in Sunday’s 5-0 victory over West Ham.

‘Noni Madueke is another lad who seems to be getting better and better for Chelsea,’ Redknapp, 77, added. ‘He scored one, created another and just gave the West Ham defence all sorts of problems.

‘He’s a talented player and it seems like Mauricio Pochettino is beginning to get the best out of him.’ 

Chelsea’s emphatic victory over West Ham saw the Blues overtake Manchester United and move up to seventh in the Premier League.

Pochettino’s side, who also reached the League Cup final and the semi-finals of the FA Cup, could qualify for Europe ahead of their final three games against Nottingham Forest, Brighton and Bournemouth.

Assessing Chelsea’s campaign before the West Ham rout, Pochettino said: ‘I cannot describe the season as a successful season if you don’t win a title at Chelsea. Again, expectation is always to win titles.

‘Circumstances have shown that the reality was really, really tough, from day one until today. But deep inside, the players and staff were living in the reality. I think the staff are happy and the players are so happy.’

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