Mauricio Pochettino makes surprise Christopher Nkunku admission and looks forward to Newcastle League Cup game

Christopher Nkunku was named in the squad vs Sheffield United but did not make his debut.

Mauricio Pochettino says Christopher Nkunku did not make his debut against Sheffield United because he did not want to risk a relapse of the knee injury that has kept him out for four months. The former RB Leipzig forward made the bench for the 2-0 win against the Blades

This was the first time Nkunku was named in Chelsea's match day squad after signing for the club in the summer. He warmed up thrice during the match but never made it onto the pitch, despite Pochettino making four substitutions.

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Chelsea were home and dry by the 75th minute but Pochettino didn't see the need to hand Nkunku his debut. 

Asked why he'd named him in the squad yet didn't think he was ready for some minutes, the Chelsea boss said: "We didn’t want to take a risk with him and give him more time for his recovery."

The Blues put up their best display in recent weeks to win 2-0, dominating possession close to 90% and were worth their salt all game. Raheem Sterling took matters into his hands to set up Cole Palmer for the first goal and the Mancunian later turned provider for Nicolas Jackson to score his seventh league goal and Chelsea's second of the day. 

Senegal forward Jackson now has eight goals in all competitions and is the club's top scorer despite a turbulent start to life as a Chelsea striker. Cole Palmer though, continues to enjoy life and the strike against the Blades was his sixth league goal since joining in the summer.

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Pochettino also left out Enzo Fernandez from the starting eleven but said it didn't mean he wouldn't be involved against Newcastle. He added: "Only can play 11 and sometimes you need one characteristic and today we saw the combination between Caicedo and Gallagher. Cole no.10. It was the best combination for today but it doesn't mean Enzo won't play on Tuesday." 

Chelsea will hope that the brilliant second-half display against Sheffield United gives them the focus and power they need to get past Eddie Howe's side in the League Cup.

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