Gary Neville reveals major downfall in ‘immature, imbalanced’ Chelsea squad; pundit names one major signing can change it all

Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville Credit: Alamy
Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville Credit: Alamy

Gary Neville has urged Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino to bring in another new attacker to help improve their ‘frantic, imbalanced front line.’

The Blues picked up their first win of the season by beating newly-promoted Luton Town at Stamford Bridge on Friday.

Raheem Sterling looked back to his best, netting an impressive brace, while new striker signing Nicolas Jackson scored his first Premier League goal to seal an emphatic 3-0 victory.

Pochettino raved about Jackson after the game. “It is only a matter of time, once he settles into the Premier League, he will show it more,” the Chelsea manager said.

“Nicolas Jackson has top quality. I have no doubt that he can become one of the greatest strikers in the Premier League.”

Neville insists that Chelsea still need a new signing who can provide ‘calmness’ in attack, though. The Blues are currently working on a deal for Nottingham Forest’s Brennan Johnson.

He could potentially be part of the solution. Neville thinks that for Chelsea to challenge for trophies again, they need one more addition who can help ‘connect’ the likes of Jackson and Sterling.

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Neville: Chelsea have an ‘immature’ team

While Neville was impressed by the performances of Jackson and Sterling on Friday, the former Manchester United full-back insists Chelsea need another attacking addition, ideally someone with experience.

“I think the balance needs working on. It’s an immature team in the sense of its age and it’s an immature team in terms of its games together,” Neville told Sky Sports.

“If you think about the best functioning units, at the moment Jackson and Sterling, Sterling’s working in a position off the right hand side and it’s certainly better seeing him higher up the pitch.

“But what you need – and if you think about Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham team – it had Son running behind it, it had Dele Alli running behind, it had Harry Kane coming short and had Christian Eriksen who could find passes.

“What we’ve got at the moment is a very frantic, imbalanced front line, the left side isn’t sorted it’s very quick players in Jackson and Sterling who are running quick but it’s frantic.

“The best forward lines for example [Sadio] Mane and [Mohamed] Salah had [Roberto] Firmino to balance off them to provide that little bit of calmness to it.

“So what I see at the moment is for Jackson to get to his best and for Sterling to get to his best, they need someone to come in to connect them as a unit to make it a unit front three, or they need someone from midfield to step up.

Pochettino tipped to change Chelsea formation

Neville also thinks that a formation change could be in order for Chelsea, if Pochettino wants to get the best out of Enzo Fernandez and Moises Caicedo in midfield.

“The problem at the moment is he [Pochettino] has got a back three, he’s got a midfield that he’s trying to work out with Moises Caicedo and Enzo Fernandez.

“I think what he’d like to do is eventually go to a back four, play the two midfielders and put one up off the front.

“There’s nobody in the hole at the moment that’s why he had [Carney] Chukwuemeka and Sterling coming into the hole. Nkunku is coming back and he might be the one that connects it but for me it’s the balance of the front three, the immaturity and they’re frantic.

“But there’s real potential there with Jackson, he runs, all he needs is someone around him who is world class who can feed little passes in, slide little balls across because everything seems frantic from distance and you’re sort of hitting him in channels. That’s not going to work in the Premier League too much.

“A lot to work on for Chelsea but there will be another forward needed, I think, to balance off that front three to get it together. Maybe Nkunku but he’s four months away [from returning].”

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