Chelsea boss reveals why ‘quality’ Senegalese striker is the new Didier Drogba after impressive Luton display

Jackson scored his first Chelsea goal after three outings, emulating Didier Drogba who scored his first Blues' goal after three games.

PREMIER LEAGUE Chelsea boss reveals why ‘quality’ Senegalese striker is the new Didier Drogba after impressive Luton display

Mark Kinyanjui 13:16 - 26.08.2023

The 22-year old netted his first goal for the club in their 3-1 win over Luton on Friday night.

Chelsea head coach Mauricio Pochettino has revealed why he believes Nicolas Jackson has the potential to be one of the greatest strikers in the Premier League.

Jackson netted his first goal for Chelsea in their 3-1 win over Luton on Friday evening, emulating the great Ivorian striker Didier Drogba, who netted his first of many goals in his third outing for the club against Crystal Palace in 2004.

He had a relatively sloppy performance in terms of touch and execution compared to his two opening showings against Liverpool and West Ham, but his positive contributions still far outweighed the negative.

“(It was) really important,” head coach Mauricio Pochettino said of Jackson’s goal in a post-match interview with Sky Sports.

“He’s a young player who has come from a different league, and to adapt to the Premier League is difficult, but the quality is there. We don’t need to ask him to run, to press, to help the team when we don’t have the ball, because that’s his quality. And then the quality is amazing in his feet. The capacity to run with the ball, to link with the team, and to score goals.

“He is going to score, it’s only a matter of time. No doubt, he can be one of the greatest strikers in the Premier League, with time.“

For all the groans that greeted one achingly misguided pass behind Chilwell that killed a transition attack, equally memorable was Jackson’s brilliant flick that parted the visiting defence and sent Chelsea’s captain on the night racing into the box early in the second half, only to mysteriously try to play in Raheem Sterling rather than take the open shot.

Jackson’s dribbling was a huge problem for Luton; he completed six progressive carries of 10 meters or more according to Opta, the most of any Chelsea player — an even more impressive statistic when you consider that he routinely receives the ball in the most congested areas of the pitch.

The excitement that rippled through Stamford Bridge whenever he or Sterling ran at Luton’s backpedaling defenders was palpable. 

It was fitting that the combination at the heart of Chelsea’s brightest attacking sequences in the early weeks of this season yielded Jackson’s first Premier League goal in the 75th minute, as he slid in to poke home the England international’s slightly deflected driven cross.

It was his fifth shot attempt of the game, underlining his eagerness to finally get off the mark for Chelsea, and supporters shared in his relief as well as his joy.

Chelsea have not always provided such an inviting environment for strikers to flourish. Jackson has had the good fortune to arrive at the right time, but he deserves the bulk of the credit for starting his Premier League career in a manner that makes Pochettino — and a growing number of supporters — confident he is the right man to make the most of it.