Chelsea could land perfect Jackson upgrade in £24m-rated “complete forward”

Despite a genuinely torrid first half of the season, Chelsea finally appear to be heading in the right direction – at least for now, anyway.

Three Premier League wins on the bounce, a League Cup semi-final – the less said about the first leg, the better – and a victory in the Third Round of the FA Cup to boot; while things certainly aren’t all rosy, they are undeniably better than they were a month ago.

Mauricio Pochettino will want to keep this positive momentum going for as long as possible, and with the transfer window in full swing, the club have been linked with a striker who could do just that – although it might be bad news for Nicolas Jackson.


Chelsea look to the Middle East to solve their goalscoring woes

According to a report from TEAMtalk earlier this week, Chelsea are on the lookout for a new number nine this month and are ‘monitoring’ Al-Ittihad’s French superstar Karim Benzema.

Understandably, the Blues aren’t the only ones keen on the 2022 Ballon d’Or winner, with the report mentioning the strong interest from London rivals Arsenal.

The former Real Madrid star only joined the Saudi Pro League side in the summer, but according to ESPN, he is ‘not happy’ with how his time in the Middle Eastern state has gone thus far, which has led to this flurry of activity from clubs across Europe and England.

karim-benzema for al-ittihad

No transfer fee has been reliably reported as of yet, but with Football Transfers’ expected value model valuing the Frenchman at just £24m, this could be a bargain too good to miss for Todd Boehly and Co – even more so if TEAMtalk’s suggestion of a loan move is indeed a possibility.

How Karim Benzema compares to Nicolas Jackson

Now, if Benzema were to arrive in west London within the next week or so, he would slot right in at the tip of Chelsea’s attack with no problems at all, as Jackson will likely still be in the Ivory Coast with the Senegal squad for the Africa Cup of Nations.

However, once that tournament is over, or if Senegal are knocked out before then, there will be a decision to be made for Pochettino between his two number nines, although unfortunately for the former Villarreal man, it would probably be one of the easiest decisions the Argentine has been faced with since he took the job.

For as promising as he may be and for as impressive as he has looked in certain moments here and there, the Djibonker-born striker just hasn’t done enough in blue to justify his place in the starting XI every week, a place that would be practically impossible to justify were Benzema to sign.

The “best no.9 in the world” – as he was dubbed by Real icon Zinedine Zidane – scored 19 La Liga goals last season to Jackson’s 12 and this season, despite reports of his unhappiness in the league, he has scored nine goals for Al-Ittihad, while the Chelsea man has just seven – in four more appearances.

The argument for Benzema gets even harder to refute when comparing the pair’s underlying numbers from last season (Benzema’s aren’t available for this season), which is even worse news for Jackson, as his numbers last year were better than they are now.

The “complete forward” and an undoubted “football genius”, as he was described by talent scout Jacek Kulig, comes out ahead in every relevant metric bar assists per 90 and even then it is not by very much at all.

Karim Benzema vs Nicolas Jackson

Stats per 90



Non-Penalty Expected Goals + Assists









Progressive Passes



Progressive Carries






Shot-Creating Actions



All Stats via FBref for the 2022/23 & 2023/24 Domestic Season

In contrast, Chelsea’s 22-year-old frontman is resoundingly beaten in almost every important area, registering a considerably lower goal per 90 number and producing nearly a third of the progressive passes that his potential competition did.


Chelsea could sign “elite” £26-rated gem as long-awaited Courtois heir

The 24-year-old could protect the Blues’ goal for the next decade.

Ultimately, if Chelsea want to make the most of the situation they currently find themselves in and potentially lift a domestic trophy this season, then signing Benzema for a relatively modest fee – or even on loan – is a no-brainer, even if it costs Jackson his spot in the team.

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