Improving Nicolas Jackson embodies Chelsea’s imperfect promise in attack | Jonathan Wilson

Senegal forward’s finishing remains erratic, but he has coped well with the responsibility of leading the line in his first season

Blink often enough and you can persuade yourself things are beginning to come into focus for Chelsea. This side are a long way from the sort of consistency that would allow them to mount anything resembling a title challenge, shaky at the back even when they’re not scoring spectacular own goals, but there are perhaps just signs that the front part of the team, tentatively, uncertainly, is beginning to emerge from the fog.

Nicolas Jackson is emblematic of the project. The Senegal forward is still only 22 and had started just 16 top-flight games when he arrived from Villarreal last summer. Perhaps had Christopher Nkunku been fit, less would have been expected of him – although given Nkunku is not an out‑and‑out striker, perhaps not – but, as it was, Jackson was expected to lead the line straight away.

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