Pochettino calls for patience with Christopher Nkunku after Broja loan | Football

Mauricio Pochettino explained Armando Broja’s departure (Picture: Getty)

Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino explained the reasoning behind Armando Broja’s deadline-day loan exit but said he is more than happy with the strikers still available to him.

Reports heading into the window had suggested that Chelsea were looking to bolster their attacking firepower after mixed starts for summer signings Nicolas Jackson and Christopher Nkunku.

However, the Blues have instead sent Broja the other way, the 22-year-old joining fellow Londoners Fulham on loan until the end of the season.

Broja has scored just once this season and Pochettino is hopeful that the opportunity of regular football can help the Albanian fast-track his development.

‘I think it’s a really good thing for him to have the opportunity to maybe play more,’ the Argentinian explained at his pre-match press conference. ‘It’s a good move for him. I hope he can take the opportunity to play more.’

Prior to the season, Chelsea had pinned their attacking hopes on former RB Leipzig striker Nkunku but he has played just 176 minutes of football this season as he struggled with shoulder and hip injuries.

The Frenchman returned to the scoresheet as a second-half substitute against Liverpool in midweek and Pochettino has called for fans to have patience with the 26-year-old.

Christopher Nkunku of Chelsea celebrates scoring his team's first goal during the Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Chelsea FC at Anfield.

Christopher Nkunku was back in the goals in midweek (Picture: Getty)

‘We need to analyse and assess him to see if he can start the next game,’ he explained.

‘We hope he can cope with the demands of the game and maybe he can play more than just 45 minutes. We need to keep working with him.’

‘We need to care about his situation step by step, building his confidence and fitness. He needs to work really hard to get to his best. Happy with the way he’s helping the team, but we need to be careful when we push him to be the best.’

Chelsea will also be buoyed by the return of Nicolas Jackosn following Senegal’s departure from the Africa Cup of Nations.

When asked about his availability for the weekend’s game against Wolves, Pochettino replied: ‘We need to assess Nico. Today was his first training session with us. He didn’t play too much but was one month away.

‘For sure, he will be involved if nothing happens tomorrow with the squad.’

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