Chelsea’s forward, Christopher Nkunku, has recently undergone knee surgery, leading to his absence from the field for an extended period, as confirmed by the Premier League club on Tuesday. Nkunku, a 25-year-old French international, joined Chelsea in June from RB Leipzig in a transfer valued at around £63 million ($80 million). Both the BBC and The Telegraph have reported that Nkunku’s recovery could take up to four months.
Anticipated to play a pivotal role in the revamped Chelsea squad managed by Mauricio Pochettino this season, this setback has dealt a significant blow to the team’s preparations. This unfortunate development arrives just days before Chelsea’s opening match of the Premier League against Liverpool, scheduled for Sunday.
In an official statement, Chelsea expressed, “Nkunku sustained a knee injury, resulting in a considerable period of absence for the forward. The 25-year-old has successfully undergone a surgical procedure and will now embark on a rehabilitation program in collaboration with the club’s medical team.” Nkunku, who was unable to participate in last year’s World Cup due to a left knee ailment, encountered his recent injury during a pre-season friendly against Borussia Dortmund in Chicago last week.
Pochettino remarked that the pitch at Soldier Field was far from ideal, acknowledging the inherent risk of playing lucrative tours in the United States on surfaces intended for various sports. This setback might prompt Chelsea to consider delving into the transfer market to bolster their offensive capabilities. Last season, Chelsea’s tally of only 38 goals in the Premier League contributed to a disappointing 12th-place finish, marking their lowest standing since 1994.