Despite suffering through an abysmal campaign last year, there was quite a bit of optimism surrounding Chelsea going into this season.

They had appointed a well-respected, Premier League-proven manager in Mauricio Pochettino, shipped off most of their deadwood to Saudi Arabia, and spent egregious sums of money on exciting young players to replace them.

However, that optimism has yet to translate into on-pitch performances, and the Blues are once again enduring a dreadful campaign in which there seems to be no end in sight.

There are, of course, a multitude of reasons why the wheels have so spectacularly fallen off at Stamford Bridge this year. Still, one that is hard to ignore is the injury to Christopher Nkunku, who, prior to his knee issue, was looking particularly deadly.

Chelsea transfer update emerges on Khvicha Kvaratskhelia
The Napoli forward was linked with a move to Stamford Bridge last month.

Luckily for the Pensioners, the Frenchman isn't too far off returning, and the idea of him combining with transfer target Ivan Toney should make rival fans feel a little nervous.

Chelsea transfer news - Ivan Toney

According to a prior from talkSport, Chelsea are one of several Premier League clubs interested in signing the Brentford striker in 2024, and the fact that he has yet to sign a new deal has only further increased that interest.

The "unplayable" forward, as described by Alan Shearer, will see his current deal at the Gtech Community Stadium expire in 2025, meaning that the Bees are likely to sell their star striker in 2024 to protect their investment - regardless of what they tell the press.

Ivan-Toney-Brentford-Premier-League (2)

There have been reports in recent months that a fee in the region of £50m-£60m would be enough to tempt the west Londoners into selling, but Sky Sports has confirmed that Toney is valued at £100m by his club and when Thomas Frank said as much in the summer, he wasn't joking: "£100m plus?... What would you pay for a striker that guarantees you 20-plus goals? And this is 20 goals for a mid-table club. What can he do in a bigger club?"

While that is an undeniably mammoth investment in a player who is already 27 years old and will have not played any football for over seven months, the prospect of him pairing up with Nkunku should be enough to convince Todd Boehly and co.

And hey, when has a massive price tag ever dissuaded Chelsea before?

How Ivan Toney could get the best out of Christopher Nkunku

One of the biggest problems at Chelsea this season - and over the last few years as well - is their inability to finish chances. The Blues have actually registered the fourth-highest expected goals total so far this season at 29.39, yet when it comes to finishing those chances, they rank eighth, with 25 goals, per Understat.

Compare that to the likes of Liverpool, Manchester City, Arsenal, Tottenham and Newcastle United, who have all scored more than their expected goals number, and the Blues' ineffectiveness in the six-yard box becomes all the more apparent.

Expected Goals to Actual Goals


Expected Goals

Actual Goals

League Position

Manchester City








Newcastle United








Tottenham Hotspur








All Stats via Understat and correct as of matchweek 14

The return of Nkunku is undoubtedly going to help alleviate this problem somewhat, as the 26-year-old "monster", as described by talent scout Jacek Kulig, found the back of the net 16 times in 25 Bundesliga appearances last season and 20 times in 34 the season before.


However, were Pochettino able to play the Frenchman alongside Toney - who has the "mindset of a lion" according to Frank and managed to bag 20 goals in 33 Premier League games last season - Chelsea could finally have a genuinely lethal attack to get on the end of the mountain of chances they create.

Additionally, while Nkunku excels best down the middle, his ability to play out wide would allow Pochettino to play three up top and include Raheem Sterling on the right, who has been one of the club's few bright sparks this year - scoring five league goals so far.

While this deal will force Boehly to put his hands back in his pockets, the idea of a front three comprising Nkunku, Toney and Sterling should be enough to reinvigorate any deflated Chelsea fan out there.