EPL

Mauricio Pochettino pleased with Chelsea intensity but still looking for more

By Sports Desk August 26, 2023

Mauricio Pochettino praised the intensity of Chelsea’s attacking play in their 3-0 win over Luton and reiterated the club would only go back into the transfer market if the right forward comes available.

The visitors were looking for a first win at Stamford Bridge in 36 years but were no match for Pochettino’s newly energised side, who after a nervous first half ripped into them late on to earn the manager his first win.

Raheem Sterling continued his fine start to the season with two goals and an assist for summer signing Nicolas Jackson, who opened his goalscoring account for the club.

The England forward’s difficult debut season in west London looked confined to history when he danced through Luton’s defence to open the scoring after 17 minutes, before settling Chelsea nerves with a sweetly taken second midway through the second half.

His assist for Jackson, nonchalantly driving over a low cross after collecting Enzo Fernandez’s clever ball forward, typified a new confidence that has marked early performances under Pochettino.

And the manager stated again that reinforcements, whilst welcome, would only be sought if the right profile of player can be found.

“It’s in the way that we love to work,” he said. “The intensity in the Premier League, if it’s not there, it’s difficult to win games. (We matched) the energy of Luton, and I think that was one of the keys, and after with the quality to score goals and create chances.

“I don’t know about the past, I cannot talk about the past. Only we can talk about the present and the future, and the way we want this pressure and the challenge that is to create a team with full energy but also with quality, to have the capacity to be competitive and challenge the big teams like Liverpool, Manchester City and company.

“I’m very pleased because the performance was very solid but that is only the first step. We need to work really hard to still improve, because I think we are so far in the way that we want to play, we are far away. But I think we are in a very good way.

“Like happened last week when we lost against West Ham, it’s not going to change (our plans). We work and the result (against Luton) was positive.”

Chelsea have had a busy summer already on the transfer front but Pochettino said they were still looking at bringing in another goalkeeper – a spot that has now been filled by the signing of Djordje Petrovic – and then “one offensive player more, but the right profile. At the moment we are working to try and find this profile.”

He added: “We need to provide the team a good balance on different areas. I think still we need one offensive player more. We’ll see if it’s possible to achieve.

“If not, we’re not going bring a player and stop a (current) player if it’s not the right profile, to only say ‘yes we have another offensive player.’”

The club confirmed the signing of Brazilian striker Deivid Washington from Santos on Thursday, but the 18-year-old is unlikely to play a role in the first team straight away, with a loan move possible.

Chelsea also announced on Saturday night the signing of Petrovic from MLS side New England Revolution.

The twice-capped Serbia international has agreed a seven-year deal at Stamford Bridge, with the option of a further year.

The 23-year-old said on his club’s website: “I’m so happy to be at Chelsea and I’m really excited to get started at this club.

“It’s a big step for me and it’s always been a dream of mine to sign for one of the biggest clubs in the world. Today I have achieved that goal and I’m so happy.”

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