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Why Christopher Nkunku didn’t make Chelsea debut during Sheffield United win



(Photo by BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images)

Mauricio Pochettino has revealed why Christopher Nkunku didn’t make his Premier League debut for Chelsea during their win over Sheffield United.

The 26-year-old was named on the Chelsea bench for the first time since his arrival from RB Leipzig following a lengthy lay-off after suffering a knee injury during pre-season.

Pochettino hinted Nkunku could be involved against the Blades, who are bottom of the Premier League, however Chelsea have been extremely careful to manage his return to ensure he doesn’t suffer a setback.

Despite second half goals from Cole Palmer and Nicolas Jackson to ensure Chelsea ended a run of two straight defeats, Nkunku’s wait for his debut continues after he was snubbed of minutes in the capital.

Speaking to BBC’s Match of the Day post-match, Pochettino explained his decision to not use the France international on Saturday afternoon at Stamford Bridge.

(Photo by BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images)

“We didn’t want to take a risk with him and give him more time for his recovery,” admitted the 51-year-old.

Chelsea moved up to 10th place in the Premier League and Pochettino was pleased with his side’s application and performance.

“I am happy because the players deserve the victory and they work really well during the week,” added Pochettino. “They react. It’s about building our confidence. At the same time we need to realise the things we need to change if we want to improve.

“Happy because three points are really important for us and then because on Tuesday we have a really important game against Newcastle, and arriving with this victory is completely different.

“Good feelings are really important and with the confidence that we can move through also and stay in the Carabao Cup.”

Chelsea welcome Newcastle United, who beat Fulham 3-0, to Stamford Bridge on Tuesday night, arguably their biggest game of their season so far, in the Carabao Cup quarter-finals.