Mauricio Pochettino confirmed Christopher Nkunku is likely to make his Chelsea debut during Tuesday’s EFL Cup quarter-final against Newcastle at Stamford Bridge but urged fans not to expect him to instantly solve his team’s problems.

Nkunku, 26, has not played competitively for the club after injuring his knee on the pre-season United States tour, weeks after joining from RB Leipzig for £52million.

Last season’s Bundesliga top scorer with 16 goals, he was named in Pochettino’s squad for the first time for Saturday’s 2-0 win against Sheffield United as the team registered back-to-back Premier League home wins for the first time in over a year.

Despite warming up during the second half, the manager opted not to hand him his debut and admitted he had “one or two per cent doubt” about his readiness.

However, the France international is set to see action for the first time on Tuesday for Pochettino’s side, who despite enjoying 80 per cent possession in the first half against the Blades registered only a single shot on target before finally breaking the deadlock in the 54th minute.

“How I see today (Monday), I can tell you maybe he can play 20 minutes,” said the manager. “How I saw him before Saturday in my mind I had one per cent to two per cent of doubt. That’s why I didn’t want to take a risk.

“I need to be one hundred per cent, then things can happen. But if I have one per cent doubt…?

“It was good for him to feel in the warm-up, being involved with the team. But why take a risk when it was 2-0?

“One per cent in my mind was thinking I don’t know if it’s the right moment.”

Chelsea have scored 28 goals in 17 league games this campaign, nine more than at the same stage last season when they went on to record their lowest tally in almost a century, 38.

Yet those goals have come in inconsistent bursts, with the team failing to net at all in the league during September before recovering to knock in 14 in five games several weeks later.

On Saturday, they subjected fans to a desperately poor first half during which they created barely a single chance.

Mauricio Pochettino

“(Nkunku has trained) only in the last few weeks, after four or five months he was out,” said Pochettino. “The team has evolved and the situation has changed.

“My worry is to put too much pressure on him, to say ‘now has arrived the guy to make us win every single game, to change everything’. I don’t believe it’s going to be like that.

“He needs time to recover his fitness. Hopefully he’ll play tomorrow and score three goals, then be consistent. But the most important thing is not to put too much pressure on him.

“He still hasn’t made his debut in the Premier League and we know how tough that can be for every player that came from outside of England.”