Chelsea star Nicolas Jackson leaves Lukaku and Havertz red-faced | Football | Sport


Nicolas Jackson has scored more Premier League goals in a single season than Romelu Lukaku and Kai Havertz ever managed as Chelsea players. Despite the Blues enduring a tumultuous campaign as a team, Jackson is on for a respectable goal return after the Monday night win over Newcastle.

Jackson applied a cute backheel flick to Cole Palmer’s shot to divert the ball beyond Martin Dubravka to make it 1-0. His team went on to win 3-2 after second-half goals from Palmer and Mykhyalo Mudryk, with Alexander Isak and Jacob Murphy the scorers for the visitors.

The Senegal attacker has now bagged in back-to-back Premier League matches after opening the scoring in a 2-2 draw at Brentford earlier this month. Jackson also found the net again just before half time but was rightly flagged offside after straying beyond Sven Botman. His finish was evidence of a player increasing in confidence in front of goal, though, and he also helped set up Mudryk’s effort with a run down the left-hand side.

The 22-year-old is up to 12 Chelsea goals across all competitions, with nine of those coming in the Premier League. His top-flight tally puts him above big-money acquisitions Lukaku and Havertz, who cost the Londoners £97million and £75m respectively.

Lukaku’s best ever league return for the club came in 2021-22, when he scored eight goals and added one assist in 26 games. Havertz scored the same amount in that same campaign from 29 appearances while supplying a further four assists.

Jackson has hit nine Premier League goals in 24 games, having played 1,821 minutes in that time. That is the equivalent of only 20 full matches. He also has three assists meaning he is level with Havertz’s best ever tally of direct goal contributions (12) in blue.

Signed from Villarreal last summer, Jackson has often been derided this season for his inconsistent finishing but Mauricio Pochettino has fiercely defended his forward. The Argentine coach said: “Nico’s 22 years old, he has arrived from a different country and a different league and everyone has put responsibility on him to score goals.

“For me, he is doing fantastic. I really appreciate his effort. He is very tough and plays football with maturity in the way that he accepts and deals with the pressure. You can see a player who fights, runs and wants the ball even when he has asked for the ball and made a mistake.

“He never gives up. He is scoring goals. If we see him in his first season here in England, I think he is doing well. Better maybe than people think – much better. We are not at the top and it is difficult to say that he is fantastic, but that has happened with the whole team.”

Havertz joined Arsenal last summer and has grown into a vital player for the Gunners after initial mockery over his £65m move. He has eight goals and three assists in 27 Premier League matches, leaving him one behind Jackson, and could help lead the north Londoners to a first title since 2004.

Lukaku is out on loan at Roma, where he was signed on loan by ex-Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho before the Portuguese coach was axed in January. The 30-year-old – expected to leave Stamford Bridge permanently this summer – has 10 Serie A goals in 25 games but has also scored another eight times in cup competitions.

Jackson will be hoping to stretch his Premier League goal tally in his debut season in England into double figures. Before then, though, he’ll be hoping to help fire the Londoners into the FA Cup semi-finals this weekend against Leicester.

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