Chelsea ‘asked about Awoniyi’ 48 hours before deadline with Jackson struggling

Mauricio Pochettino makes quick Nicolas Jackson U-turn after difficult Chelsea start

Chelsea were reportedly scrambling to find a new forward in the final few hours of deadline day to help ease the load on Nicolas Jackson’s shoulders. Mauricio Pochettino recently admitted that the Senegalese striker “needs time to adapt” after a difficult start to life in England’s top flight. 

The Blues were on the lookout for a Premier League-proven player as September 1 neared and reportedly identified Nottingham Forest’s Taiwo Awoniyi as an ideal target to add depth down the middle. According to The Athletic, the west Londoners made contact with Nottingham Forest 48 hours before the transfer window closed but they rejected their approach.

Awoniyi is Nottingham’s third most expensive signing of all time having made the switch from Bundesliga outfit Union Berlin to the City Ground for £17million in 2022. Last season, he was the club’s top scorer, with 10 goals from 27 Premier League appearances. 

The Nigerian danger man has got off to a flying start to his 2023/2024 campaign, scoring three goals in as many games. Meanwhile, Jackson has only found the back of the net once in four appearances.

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In the end, Chelsea signed attacking midfielder Cole Palmer from Manchester City for £40m on deadline day. The 21-year-old has been promised more minutes at Stamford Bridge after spending the majority of his time with the Citizens on the bench. 

Chelsea find themselves in a difficult position with Christopher Nkunku out injured for at least four months after undergoing surgery on a left knee injury. Palmer isn’t an out-and-out striker and is mostly deployed either as a right winger or central attacking midfielder. 

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Jackson had a difficult game against Nottingham last weekend as his side fell to their second defeat of the season. The 22-year-old was particularly wasteful in front of goal and came under scrutiny following the match. 

“I think in the future we will be talking differently. He needs time to adapt to the Premier League. He is doing a fantastic job but scoring is not easy,” said Blues boss Pochettino.

“He is a little bit rushed in his decisions. He needs to be a little bit more calm and relaxed and for sure he is going to score goals.” But the Argentine is confident Jackson will come good. 

Speaking after Jackson’s first goal for the Blues against Luton Town, Pochettino said: “It’s difficult to find a player like him in the market. For me he has the potential to be one of the great Premier League strikers.”

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