Nicolas Jackson joined Chelsea as Mauricio Pochettino’s first signing as Blues manager.
Jackson arrived at Stamford Bridge early in the transfer window after the Blues paid slightly over his £30million release clause.
The striker has already impressed during pre-season, netting twice and assisting three times in five games.
Now he will make his debut against Liverpool in the Premier League, with his big moment coming only four years after playing local football in Senegal.
And this saw Villarreal make a move for the 22-year-old, bringing him to Europe in 2019 to play for their youth team.
He was then sent out on loan where he only scored one goal in 16 games which raised doubts over whether he would settle in Spain.
But after returning to the La Liga side in 2021, Jackson worked his way into the first team and his manager at the time, Unai Emery, handed the Senegal international his debut.
Now Aston Villa boss Emery was a big fan of the striker, saying: “He is a player who is in the process of growing.
“There are times when some players have to go elsewhere to grow, but we are betting on him because his contribution is very high.
“He must get experience in front of goal and this is a learning process. We need to establish young players and we want to bet on them.”
Jackson was given that experience by Emery in the first half of last season but he only managed to score two goals in 14 appearances.
However, this didn’t put off Bournemouth who still believed in the hype and agreed a £22.5million deal with Villarreal to sign the striker in January.
The transfer was all but complete until he failed his medical on the South Coast and the Cherries pulled out of the move as a precaution.
But Jackson didn’t dwell on the missed opportunity and after recovering from an injury, he stepped up and showed why he has been called the ‘next Neymar.’
He starred for Villarreal in April, scoring nine times in the final eight games and ending the season on 13 goals while helping his side finish the La Liga season strongly.
The Blues are desperate for goals after only netting 38 times across the whole top-flight campaign last term, with no player able to score double figures.
Kai Havertz was the closest player to doing so but he has joined Arsenal, leaving Pochettino with even more goalscoring worries.
However, his first signing as Blues boss will hopefully be the solution to those problems with Jackson aiming to continue his rapid rise to the top.
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