Football Features

Chelsea stats: How Noni Madueke has become Mauricio Pochettino’s go-to game-changer

By Will Evans | Twenty3

Published: 7:29, 10 May 2024

Noni Madueke is spearheading in-form Chelsea’s push for Europe.

The Blues have lost just once in 12 league outings, including consecutive wins against Tottenham and West Ham in their last two matches.

And their No.11 has played a key role in recent weeks — registering three goals and two assists since the beginning of April.

Here’s why things have finally started to click for Madueke at Stamford Bridge.

Consistent starts

Madueke joined Chelsea for £29million from PSV in January last year, but struggled to make an immediate impact.

He scored just one goal in 2022/23, while only starting seven of a possible 12 matches.

That difficult transition continued into this season, with manager Mauricio Pochettino unwilling to play Madueke consistently for much of the campaign.

However, he has now started seven consecutive games across all competitions — and Chelsea are reaping the rewards.

The 22-year-old has managed 0.8 goal contributions per 90 in league and cup fixtures during that run, compared with 0.65 prior to that point.

Unselfish streak

Both Madueke and team-mate Nicolas Jackson came in for criticism last month, when they tried to wrestle the ball off Cole Palmer to claim penalty duties during the 6-0 victory over Everton. Madueke had also made a case to take the penalty to equalise in Chelsea’s dramatic 4-3 win over Manchester United.

But Madueke has displayed greater maturity since then — personified by his assist in Chelsea’s win against West Ham.

The winger unselfishly passed across goal for Jackson to score his first of the game on 48 minutes, much to the delight of Pochettino.

“The assist from Noni to Jackson showed that we learn, that we are smart,” he said, before adding: “It was a great action of Noni to see how the group is starting to live and feel in between them.”

Dynamic dribbling

Madueke’s impressive ball-carrying ability has helped drive play forward for Chelsea this term.

He ranks inside the Premier League’s top 10 players for take-ons attempted (5.74) and completed (3.34) per 90, among those with a minimum of 630 minutes played — and is starting to add more end product to his dribbles into attacking areas.

The London native is shooting less since his run of starts commenced in early April, but is creating more chances for his team-mates (2.21 vs 1.93 per 90).

That has, perhaps unsurprisingly, led to two league assists over that period, compared with none from August to March.

Having been something of a bit-part player in the season’s early stages, Madueke is emerging as a game-changing figure for Pochettino’s improving Blues.