Nicolas Jackson: Chelsea striker Compares Himself to Karim Benzema Amid Difficult Season

Nicolas Jackson: Chelsea striker Compares Himself to Karim Benzema Amid Difficult Season

Edwin Kiplagat
February 23, 2024 at 6:52 PM
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  • Nicolas Jackson is having a tough first season at Chelsea
  • The Senegalese has scored nine goals in 27 matches
  • The 22-year-old striker has said he takes inspiration from Karim Benzema

When Nicolas Jackson arrived at Stamford Bridge in the summer of 2023, he was expected to be Chelsea's main man for the foreseeable future.

Several months into the season, Jackson has struggled for consistency in front of goal, with his time at the club characterised by inexplicable misses.

The Senegal international has said Real Madrid legend and Ballon d'Or winner Karim Benzema inspires him.

Nicolas Jackson, Karim Benzema, Chelsea, Ballon d'or Carabao Cup
Nicolas Jackson has the potential to reach Karim Benzema's level. Photos by Darren Walsh and Aurelien Meunier.
Source: Getty Images

The 22-year-old was signed from Spanish side Villarreal for £30 million and showed glimpses of brilliance early in the season. However, as the season progressed, goals were harder to come.

He scored twice in his first nine matches and has scored just once since December. In 21 games this season, he has found the net just nine times, a run of form that has angered Chelsea fans, per Transfermarkt.

Nevertheless, Jackson has played a major role in Chelsea's biggest performances this season. Despite missing a golden chance against Manchester City, his overall game was impressive as the Blues drew 1-1.

Jackson discusses Benzema inspiration

The young striker recalled watching Karim Benzema at Real Madrid a few years ago, saying the Frenchman missed a lot of chances and then later became a Ballon d'Or winner.

"When I was young, I saw [Karim] Benzema playing for Real Madrid. I was supporting Madrid when I was young and Benzema was missing a lot of chances," per Talksport.
"But you know, later he won the Ballon d'Or. I'm not saying I'm that level. I can't be that level now."

Jackson hopes to come good under Mauricio Pochettino despite a tough first season in England. He says the former Tottenham Hotspur coach is helping him.

"Just continue, you miss but later it will be easy when you start to improve and get experience. He is helping me a lot and all the players in the team. We fight for him and the team."

Jackson booked after being substituted

Sports Brief earlier reported how Nicolas Jackson risks being banned after picking up another yellow card.

The Senegalese striker earned a booking a few minutes after he was substituted in a game against Crystal Palace.

Jackson was shown a yellow after he celebrated Enzo Fernandez’s goal by running onto the field of play.

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Edwin Kiplagat
Edwin Kiplagat has five years of experience in journalism working as a Sports Editor at Africa Insight Communications and ESPN. Edwin Kiplagat is a Bachelor's Degree holder in journalism from the Multimedia University of Kenya.