Cole, Ferdinand react to Nkunku rumours as Van Basten tells Chelsea star to leave

Joe Williams
Chelsea target Christopher Nkunku celebrates a goal

Joe Cole and Rio Ferdinand are both looking forward to seeing Christopher Nkunku play in the Premier League next season for Chelsea.

The Blues have not formally announced the signing but widespread reports indicate the France international will move to Stamford Bridge at the end of the season.

Nkunku has understood to have signed a pre-contract agreement with Chelsea that will see him move to west London for an amount ‘in excess’ of his €60m release clause.

When asked whether he was excited to see Nkunku playing for Chelsea next season, Cole told BT Sport: “Massively so. He’s not someone I’ve watched a great deal of but everything I’ve seen from him ticks the box.

“He’s powerful, got great technique, can dribble, he can pass, his numbers are good. He’s playing in a strong league, I think he’s outstanding. Watching him play right now, he looks full of confidence.

“He’s one of them players who’s played on the edge, against Celtic he showed power, passing, goalscoring, he’s shown everything. Chelsea have jumped in and tried to get the business done early.”

Fellow pundit Ferdinand added: “He grew up at PSG by the way so he’s always been identified as a big talent.

“He’s gone to Leipzig and over the years in the Champions League, I’ve seen him grow, grow in stature.

“You can see the confidence and I’m not surprised he’s coming to the Premier League.’

Nkunku is another move that points to Chelsea potentially selling some of their other attacking players like Hakim Ziyech and Christian Pulisic.

Ziyech has only made two Premier League appearances this campaign and the Moroccan will be hoping for more playing time under new boss Graham Potter.

But Netherlands legend Marco van Basten thinks it is time for Ziyech to move on as it’s “not good for football” to see him on the bench at Chelsea.

“There is another transfer window coming up,”Van Basten told Ziggo Sport.

“It is sad and a shame. Ziyech is a great player. We have to see someone like that, we watch TV for such a player and we come to the stadium.

“It is a pity for the whole of football that he is on the bench. If these kinds of players do not get minutes, it is not good for football.”

Asked if Ziyech should take a step down to engineer a move away from Chelsea, Van Basten added: “I don’t know but there is another problem.

“There should actually be a rule that clubs can only have a certain number of players.

“So they [Chelsea] have way too many and that actually makes football less interesting. A player like Ziyech could just play at another club and entertain the fans.

“Soon there will be teams that have 35 players, five or six of whom never play. They could excel at other clubs.

“All competitions must be reduced to eighteen clubs. Then you play a few fewer matches. Then you can’t use more than, say, 26 players during the season.

“You see that it is possible. At Real Madrid, for example. They just have a normal selection and just eighteen to twenty players who always play. So in principle that should be possible.”

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