Nicolas Jackson has completed his medical ahead of a move to Chelsea from Villarreal.
The Senegal forward has a €35m (£30.1m) release clause in his Villarreal contract, with the final details on an eight-year contract at Stamford Bridge being finalised.
Bournemouth agreed a deal to sign Jackson for £22.5m in January but the 22-year-old failed his medical with a hamstring problem.
Jackson emerged as a key target for Chelsea this summer as they look to refresh their forward line having already secured the signature of Christopher Nkunku from German side RB Leipzig.
In all competitions last season, Jackson scored 13 goals and provided five assists for Villarreal and official confirmation of his move to Stamford Bridge is expected in the coming days.
Patience needed for Jackson at Blues
Chelsea have a desperate need to bring in a new No 9 this summer in a bid to resolve the goal-scoring issues that mean Diego Costa remains the last striker to score 20 goals in a season for the club – and that was six years ago.
Those problems came to a head last season when no player scored more than nine goals as Chelsea slumped to 12th in the Premier League, exacerbating the desire to strengthen their forward line.
However, Jackson is not the eye-catching name that many supporters may have been hoping for this summer.
The 22-year-old, who has one cap for Senegal, was only promoted to Villarreal’s first team on a full-time basis last season, while he would have joined Bournemouth in January had he not failed a medical.
It’s unlikely that Chelsea would have considered a move for Jackson in the previous window, given his modest record of just three goals in his first 18 LaLiga games of the season.
However, he exploded into life down the stretch, scoring nine in his final eight matches to help Villarreal to Europa League qualification.
That impressive form at the end of the season means Jackson compared favourably to Chelsea’s crop of forwards during the 2022/23 campaign, ranking highest for goals and big chances scored per 90.
However, it must be pointed out that none of Chelsea’s forwards performed to their expected levels last season, while Jackson’s numbers for possession wins and completed passes compare unfavourably to the attacking players already at Stamford Bridge.
As such, it’s unfair to expect Jackson to arrive at Stamford Bridge and immediately fix Chelsea’s issues in front of goal. Don’t be surprised to see the club pursue another No 9 this summer.
Instead, a longer-term view should be taken with Jackson. His hot streak last season demonstrates his potential but his lack of experience at the top level, as well as the room for improvement in aspects of his game, shows patience may be needed from Mauricio Pochettino and the Blues’ fans.
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