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  • By Matthew Ferris at Cobham Training Ground

Chelsea boss Poch on parachuting Jackson directly into Anfield - he’s joking right, or is he?

By Matthew Ferris at Cobham

Chelsea head coach Mauricio Pochettino joked that “it is possible” for Nicolas Jackson to be parachuted into Anfield for tomorrow’s difficult test against Liverpool as he returns from the Africa Cup of Nations.

Pochettino was in fine form in his pre-match press conference on this afternoon, and when asked about whether this method of transportation was suitable for Jackson, he said: “I don’t know if he’s brave enough to jump.”

He was insistent on providing the information concerning Jackson’s availability, and said: “We are not sure, but for you to be aware, maybe he [will be] there for the game.”

Pochettino admitted that the team has missed Jackson.

He said: “He runs a lot, the effort is massive to help the team to press high and then to score goals – he has a good record at the moment – I think we have missed him a lot but we are happy for him to come back.

“Selfishly, we are happy because maybe tomorrow he can be with us.”

Pochettino cited how Inaki Williams was able to help Athletic Club beat Barcelona in the Copa Del Rey, shortly after returning from Ghana’s AFCON exit.

He said: “Why can’t Jackson arrive and score the winning goal?”

Moises Caicedo was also among the topics of discussion, because of the fierce battle between Chelsea and Liverpool for his signature in the summer.

Liverpool had agreed a fee to sign the player who was also willing to join, but Brighton waited for Chelsea to respond to Liverpool’s bid as they attempted to gain the maximum profit from the sale.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp hasn’t been afraid to mock Chelsea’s transfer strategy since, naturally resembling a slightly bitter character after his club came so close to securing the signing of the Ecuadorian.

Pochettino said that he had no knowledge of the intricacies of the transfer but speculated that as co-director of football Paul Winstanley was involved when he signed for Brighton, Caicedo then knew people involved in the Chelsea side of negotiations, which may have made it easier.

About Caicedo, Pochettino said: “The moment that Chelsea and Liverpool offer the same money is because they believe he can be one of the best midfielders in the future.

“After that, it’s about adaptation, he didn’t do a pre-season and he had some problems when he was travelling for international duty.

"Many things have delayed the adaptation to the team and the club.”

He believes though, that there is no doubt Caicedo can be one of the best midfielders in the Premier League, which is what he started to show in his final season at Brighton.

Caicedo’s price tag is an example of the modern-day element of the transfer market where a club is required to pay a large fee for potential, as opposed to just splashing the cash for the finished product.

Pochettino said: “We are living in a different generation, a new era, and people think in different ways.”

While he referenced Harry Kane’s transfer to Bayern as an example of paying for a player guaranteed to hit the ground running, Pochettino said: “Of course now if you want to sign a good player with the potential to be one of the best in their position…you need to spend money and give them time to perform.”

Caicedo’s performances in recent weeks have been one of the biggest positives in what has been Chelsea’s most consistent run of form this season, and also justifies Pochettino’s constant calls for patience with the entire squad.

Pochettino will be hoping that Caicedo can produce a world-class midfield display on Wednesday to rub further salt into the Liverpool wounds that stem from the transfer battle in the summer.

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