HomeSportsChelsea don't need new striker in January - Poch

Chelsea don’t need new striker in January – Poch

Mauricio Pochettino has played down suggestions he believes Chelsea need to sign a striker in January and distanced the club from speculation over a move for Brighton forward Evan Ferguson.

Chelsea have struggled for goals all season and were once again without Christopher Nkunku and Nicolas Jackson for Saturday’s 1-0 win over Fulham at Stamford Bridge.

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Pochettino said on Friday that “we are going to see the situation” after admitting his concern at Nkunku’s latest fitness setback.

The £52 million summer acquisition from RB Leipzig has made just four appearances for the club after suffering a serious knee injury during preseason.

Sources told ESPN that Chelsea are interested in Napoli‘s Victor Osimhen and Brentford‘s Ivan Toney but both deals are viewed as extremely difficult to complete this month.

Feyenoord’s Santiago Giménez is another possible option but when asked specifically about interest in Ferguson, Pochettino said: “No, I think you know very well I don’t talk about rumours. I am never going to talk about players who are in a different club. I am so respectful. No, we are not talking. We are assessing the squad and if something happens, we will communicate but at the moment, we didn’t take any decision.

“I never said that we need a centre-forward. No, because after that we create a problem, me with my people. I never said that. I didn’t say that yesterday in my press conference that we need [a striker].

“I said that we are working like another club, trying to assess and see the market, all the different situations that can appear. The most important thing is this club is ready to act and one or another direction but I never said we need to add another player in the squad.”

Cole Palmer‘s penalty in first half stoppage-time was enough to give Chelsea a narrow victory over Fulham, whose last victory away at their London rivals came in 1979.

Pochettino revealed that preparations were disrupted by an incident which occurred before kick-off but refused to divulge the details.

“The first half wasn’t the first half we planned,” he said. “Something happened before the game but I cannot explain, it affected a little bit the team.”

Asked to elaborate, Pochettino said: “No, no, no, nothing, nothing. It was nothing. It is nothing big, small details sometimes affect the team and only you need to know something affected the performance, in my opinion, but it is not important for you and for our fans, to know. Sorry, sorry.”

During the match, a PR stunt took place a few yards behind Pochettino’s dugout in which seven men in matching suits stood up at various points in the first half to promote a film produced by a company linked to Chelsea co-owner Todd Boehly, who also attended Saturday’s game.

Pochettino insisted it was not an issue. “I was aware,” he said. “It didn’t affect the spectacle. For me, it is welcome. It is part of the spectacle. It did not affect the professionals, the players or us to make our job.

“It was nice for the fans to see the promotion of the film. It looks very good the film, ‘Argylle’. It looks very, very good. Maybe they invite me for the premiere.”

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