Armando Broja is expected to start as Chelsea return to Premier League action this weekend, according to journalist Simon Phillips.

The 21-year-old youngster returned to Stamford Bridge following a productive loan spell at Southampton, where he scored nine goals across all competitions. The Albania international has made six substitute appearances this term for the Blues but is still awaiting his first start for the club.

However, The Sun‘s Alan Nixon reported that the imposing forward has beeen grabbing the attention of his new boss Graham Potter, and it now seems likely that he will be rewarded with a spot in the starting line-up against Crystal Palace on Saturday.

Broja in line to start v Palace

Speaking about the probability of the Albanian starting at Selhurst Park this weekend, Phillips told GIVEMESPORT: “He’s very close, I’m surprised he hasn’t had it yet, but he had a small injury, so I think that held him up a bit.

“I’ve been told that he is expected to get the nod in the next game if all things go well between now and then and I think it’ll probably be ahead of Aubameyang, who still has a broken jaw issue, so I think Broja will start against Crystal Palace.”

About time

Despite having only 69 top-flight minutes available to him at Chelsea this season, the 6 foot 3 “machine” – as author Simon Peach described him – has made an impression.

As per FBRef, he ranks first for shots on target per game (3.7), far ahead of Kai Havertz in second place with 0.84, with 100% of his attempts being on target. The 15-cap Albanian is also ahead of his Stamford Bridge colleagues in terms of predicted goals per 90 minutes (0.45), narrowly edging top scorer Raheem Sterling in this regard.

Journalist Tom Barclay praised Broja for his “clinical” ability in front of goal, and it is reassuring to hear that Potter seems willing to finally give him a start for Chelsea this weekend.

Based on the output from his sporadic substitute appearances of late, it’s about time that the 21-year-old is thrown in from the start.