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Huge blow for Chelsea! Christopher Nkunku facing months on the sidelines due to serious knee injury that will require £58m man to undergo surgery

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Chelsea forward Christopher Nkunku is facing months on the sidelines as he is reportedly set to undergo knee surgery after damaging his meniscus. The French international was forced off in the 22nd minute of Chelsea’s final pre-season match against Borussia Dortmund in Chicago after a challenge from Mat Hummels. Initial reports suggested the Blues’ £58 million ($73.9m) summer signing from RB Leipzig would be out for weeks rather than months after sustaining meniscus damage in his left knee but he could now be set for a far longer spell on the sidelines. The Guardian’s Jacob Steinberg claims Nkunku will require knee surgery, which will delay his competitive Chelsea debut until well into the new season.The 25-year-old, who will definitely miss Chelsea’s Premier League season opener against Liverpool on August 13, has made a bright start to his time with the west London outfit but his absence is a concern for manager Mauricio Pochettino. An extended layoff for Nkunku, who can play as an attacking midfielder or second striker, increases the pressure on Todd Boehly’s team to strengthen in that part of the pitch. They have been linked with Crystal Palace’s Michael Olise, who is a winger but can play in attacking midfield, while Neymar has also been mooted as a potential target after reportedly telling Paris Saint-Germain that he wants to leave the club.Chelsea scored a meagre 38 goals in 38 matches last season, so they need all the attacking options they can get to improve this time out and launch a genuine bid to return to the top-four.Chelsea begin their 2023-24 league season at home to Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool on Sunday. They will hope Nkunku will return to the first-team as soon as possible.