Noni Madueke sends clear message as Mauricio Pochettino dealt major Chelsea vs Arsenal headache


Noni Madueke has given Mauricio Pochettino a difficult decision to make ahead of Chelsea's clash against Arsenal after the international break. The Blues will welcome Mikel Arteta's side to Stamford Bridge on Saturday afternoon in what is expected to be a blockbuster London derby.

Chelsea head into the fixture following an impressive win over Burnley which saw Raheem Sterling run riot at Turf Moor. The 28-year-old winger, who has enjoyed an excellent start to new Premier League season, provided the cross in the first-half which saw Ameen Al-Dakhil deflect the ball into his own net.

Then, just moments after the break, Sterling won the penalty which was converted by Cole Palmer. The England international later turned from playmaker to goalscorer, scoring the Blues' third of the game.

After the game, Mauricio Pochettino heaped tremendous praise on Sterling for his efforts but reminded him that 'it's his job' to lead Chelsea to victory. The 51-year-old said: "It's his job, no? To play well. All players try to play well and today he was well.

"He was involved in the goals and I am so happy for him and so happy for the team. The team was good, the performance was fantastic, they deserve the praise. So happy for them and go to the international break with a different feeling to the last."

Sterling's performance appeared to cement his place in the starting lineup for the Arsenal clash. However, following Madueke's fantastic displays for the England Under-21s, Pochettino now has a tough decision to make.

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Madueke netted twice in the Three Lions' comprehensive win over Serbia last week before finding his third of the international break in a 3-2 defeat to Ukraine. With England in desperate need of a goal in a crucial European Championship qualifier, the Chelsea ace pulled one back for his country cutting inside off the right-wing.

Clearly watching videos of Mohamed Salah have begun to pay off. Last week, Madueke revealed the extra work which he's been doing recently behind the scenes.

"I look at the best," said the Englishman, as quoted by the Evening Standard. "James Ryder, our analyst, clipped up [Kylian] Mbappe and Salah, so I watch them a lot. The way they always follow their pass into the box, or when a team-mate is in the box, they’re always there to anticipate.

"One thing I’ve got to add to my game is the easier goals, the one-touch goals - that’s what I’m trying to improve. I know I go at such a pace so sometimes I’ve got to calm down at the last moment, take a breath and then slot it away. I’ve just got to keep working so I can do it when I get back to Chelsea."

Nevertheless, Madueke's impressive performances for the England Under-21s will have certainly caught Pochettino's eye. The former Tottenham boss must now decide whether to stick with Sterling or throw the youngster into the deep end against Arsenal.

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