Is Broja the new Kane? Chelsea star’s race against time to prove Pochettino right

Robin Bairner
Armando Broja was compared to Harry Kane by Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino
© ProShots

Chelsea striker Armando Broja was compared to Harry Kane by manager Mauricio Pochettino before the Blues tackle Aston Villa in the FA Cup on Friday.

Broja has been criticised for his lack of productivity for the Stamford Bridge side this season, having bagged only two goals in 18 matches across all competitions.

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Kane, meanwhile, has scored 26 goals in 25 games for Bayern Munich, further proving himself as one of the deadliest finishers in the world.

The 22-year-old has had a tough time of it, though. He only returned after a cruciate ligament tear in September and he has been pressed into action by Nicolas Jackson’s departure to the Africa Cup of Nations as well as an injury to Christopher Nkunku.

“I still believe that he has the potential to be an amazing striker,” Pochettino claimed.

“The process takes time. I always compare it to Harry Kane. He went on loan and spent time finding his real balance. In our first six months [at Spurs], he started to perform only in December and January, and that’s when we started to see his real potential.”

Broja, of course, has faced the added complication of a year out of the game due to his knee injury and it is clear that this has stunted his progress to some extent.

Broja was ahead of Kane in his development before injury
© SciSports – Broja was ahead of Kane in his development before injury

Data analytics experts SciSports actually had him ahead of Kane in his development before his injury but he has more or less flatlined since then.

Perhaps Pochettino’s claims, then, are no so outlandish after all.

Broja’s race against time to save Chelsea career

Getting Broja back to anything like his best, though, will be a testing process.

He ranks 40th among 41 Premier League strikers to have played at least 450 minutes this season, according to SciSports, who add the caveat that until a player has played 900 minutes there is a degree of noise in their data. Broja has around half that, but the pattern is, nevertheless, an alarming one.

Broja vs Premier League strikers: 2023/24

+ Armando Broja

And the pressure is on the former Southampton loanee to bounce back rapidly.

Chelsea are looking for a new striker, Victor Osimhen arriving in the summer looks a distinct possibility and Pochettino will be under pressure to back €37m arrival Jackson. This is particularly the case given the Blues’ Financial Fair Play position, which favours them selling academy products.

Broja has a matter of weeks to prove his manager right and that he has Kane potential.

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