Chelsea have been dealt a heavy blow as star forward Christopher Nkunku is set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines with injury.
The French forward has undergone surgery on the knee injury he sustained during the pre-season friendly against Borussia Dortmund, as revealed through a club statement.
Although the time frame of his recovery is not mentioned by the club, he could be out of action for up to four months.
Earlier reports played down the severity of the injury, and the Blues were hopeful that Nkunku would miss only a few games at the start of next season.
Nkunku moved to Stamford Bridge this summer in a deal worth £53 million after an excellent stint at RB Leipzig, where he established himself as one of the best forwards in Europe.
The 23-year-old garnered a whopping tally of 35 goals and 20 assists in the 2021/22 season and followed up with 23 goals and nine assists last term.
Nkunku also stood out in pre-season, scoring against Wrexham, Brighton & Hove Albion and Fulham.
There were massive expectations on the former Paris Saint-Germain star to translate his red-hot form to the new season, and his latest setback is a significant blow for the Blues.
Chelsea may explore the transfer market for attacking reinforcements to cope with Nkunku’s absence.
Juventus centre-forward Dusan Vlahovic has emerged as a top target for the Blues, with the Bianconeri willing to swap the Serbian for their priority target Romelu Lukaku.
Lukaku is not in Chelsea’s plans, and they have been working to get him off their books.
Juve are negotiating with the Premier League giants, and Pochettino will take the final call regarding Vlahovic.
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