The ghost of £52m man has haunted Chelsea for 18 months; now is the time to break the spell – Opinion

It’s not over yet, but it already feels like this Chelsea season has been defined by one player who has barely featured – Christopher Nkunku.

His presence his been hanging over the club for about 18 months now, since the reports he had a future transfer arranged were first put out there.

Since that point, his future arrival was held up as the symbol of the start of a new era at the club.

His good performances in preseason felt like proof that this would be the case. The enthusiasm built steadily with his form, and was then shattered by his injury.

After that, we went back to waiting. No matter how bad things got, we had the return of Nkunku, the king in the hill, to magically restore our kingdom. Instead he returned, got injured, returned again, seemed to fall out of favour, then got injured again and disappeared. The period since then has felt like a despondent group coming to terms with the fact they were going to have to do it without him.

We have seen signs they’re doing that. Will we come back from this international break finally cured of the feeling of dependence on him and ready to attack the final stretch? Or will the ghost of Nkunku continue to haunt us all the way until May? We can’t wait to find out.

READ ALSO:  "I'm really happy I could help the team" - Cucurella on his return from injury

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