Meet Nicolas Jackson: Chelsea’s New Striker

On the 30th of June 2023, Chelsea announced the signing of Nicolas Jackson from Spanish side Villarreal for £32m.

The Senegalese striker has signed an 8-year contract following a breakout 2022/23 season in La Liga in which he netted 12 goals.

FootballOrbit brings you what you need to know about Chelsea’s new striker.

Early career

Nicolas Jackson was born to Senegalese parents on the 19th of June 2001 in Banjul, Gambia.

His family later moved back to Ziguinchor, Senegal. He began playing for local side ASC Tilene before joining Senegal Premier League side, Casa Sports.

At Casa Sports, he became part of the first team squad during the 2018/19 season, helping them to a mid-table finish in the Senegal Premier League.

Nicolas Jackson joins Villareal

Nicolas Jackson Chelsea

In September 2019, Jackson joined Spanish La Liga side Villarreal, and was placed in the reserve team.

Loan to Mirandés

In October 2020, Jackson was loaned to Segunda División side Mirandés for the 2020/21 season.

He made his professional debut thirteen days later, coming on as a second-half substitute for Antonio Caballero in a 0-0 home draw against Mallorca.

Furthermore, he scored his first professional goal on the 28th of November 2020, netting the opener in a 1-1 home draw against CD Castellón. It was his only goal of the season, as Mirandés finished in 10th position.

Nicolas Jackson breaks through

Nicolas Jackson Chelsea

Jackson returned to Villareal to play for the B-team in the Spanish third tier. He scored 7 goals as the side gain promotion to the second division.

He scored both goals in their play-off final victory.

Villareal first team

He made his first team – and La Liga – debut on the 3rd of October 2021, replacing Arnaut Danjuma late into a 2-0 home win over Real Betis.

Jackson scored his first ever La Liga goal on the 13th of August 2022, netting the opener in a 3-0 away success over Real Valladolid.

Thirteen days later, he and teammate Álex Baena were promoted to the main squad.

Failed Bournemouth transfer

In January 2023, Villarreal agreed a £22.5 million deal from Bournemouth for the signing of Jackson, but he failed his medical due to hamstring issues and the deal fell through.

Hot form

Jackson quickly recovered from the failed transfer.

After returning to action in March, he scored 9 goals within the months of April and May — which included braces against Celta de Vigo, Athletic Bilbao and Cádiz!!!

In total, the young striker made 38 appearances across all competitions for Villarreal in 2022/23.

He ended the campaign as La Liga’s most in-form player, with his 9 goals in the final 8 matches of the season winning him the Player of the Month award for May.

Moreso, his goals helped Villarreal finish 5th in La Liga and qualify for next season’s Europa League.

The 22-year-old scored 12 goals and provided 5 assists in all competitions for Villarreal last season.

Nicolas Jackson moves to Chelsea

On the 30th of June 2023, Nicolas Jackson signed for Premier League giants Chelsea on an 8-year deal until 2031, that is worth €37 million (£32/$40m).

“We are excited to welcome Nicolas to Chelsea. He is a young player with big potential, as he showcased for Villarreal last season. “We believe he is ready for this next step in his career and look forward to him working with our new head coach, Mauricio Pochettino, and his Chelsea team-mates.”

Chelsea co-sporting directors Laurence Stewart and Paul Winstanley announcing the arrival of Nicolas Jackson.

International career

Born in the Gambia, Jackson was raised in Senegal and has dual citizenship.

He represented Senegal at U-20 level, receiving his first call-up in November 2018.

After being called up to the senior team by manager Aliou Cissé for two friendlies in September 2022, Jackson was included in the 26-man list for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Moreover, he made his full international debut in Senegal’s 2022 World Cup opening match against the Netherlands.

He has since followed that maiden appearance up with two further caps in June 2023, getting an assist in each — including in a famous 4-2 friendly victory over Brazil.

Nicholas Jackson’s style of play

Nicholas Jackson has lightning quick feet. His dribbling, coupled with his pace, makes him an excellent ball-carrier.

As a striker, his brilliant finishing means he is a good poacher in front of goal.

In addition, Jackson’s off-the-ball movement is brilliant, as he regularly pops up in dangerous areas to create space for himself to run into.

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