Why is Nkunku turning heads?

Christopher Alan Nkuknu has taken the footballing world by storm, courtesy of some compelling football and even staggering numbers. Nkunku was born in Lagny-sur-Marne, France on November 14, 1997. He was raised in the same area where Paul Pogba was born and brought up. He is a Paris Saint Germain Academy product through and through. The French footballer started with PSG youth in 2011 and eventually represented PSG’s first team shortly after turning 18 in a Champions League match. Nkunku represented PSG in 75 matches across four seasons and 5 leagues without garnering much attention. Only after he moved to RB Leipzig in July 2019 has he started to show his true potential.

Image source: GEPA pictures/ Andreas Pranter

Style of Play

Nkunku plays typically as a no. 10 but is capable enough to play along with both the wings and even as a striker if required. However, as his numbers suggest, he is at his brutal best playing in the attacking central midfield. He has no obvious weakness(es). He is very good at passing and holding the ball. The 24-year-old winger is strong physically and doesn’t dive into tackles easily. He is great with dribbling and crosses as well. He likes to do layoffs, play short passes, and cross often. Although there is some room for improvement in the defensive department, he does defensive sweeping when needed. He is good with tackles and duels as well. He is just 24. So, you can only expect him to get better and stronger.

Image source: Reuters

Numbers of Nkunku

Nkunku scored 10 goals and assisted 2 times during his stay at PSG. Comparing that to his 22 goals and 13 assists in 33 matches across all competitions this season for Leipzig, one can conclude how much he has grown. The kind of impact he has managed to have at Leipzig is stunning. Playing typically as a midfielder and yet producing that kind of numbers is unheard of. Before the start of this season, he had 12 goals and 22 assists in 84 appearances for Leipzig. Although the numbers don’t suggest as much, he turned many heads with his brilliant play.

RB Leipzig’s Nkunku scores their second goal in a 6-3 defeat against Man City. Image source: REUTERS/Craig Brough

Top Performer

Nkunku has managed to produce a series of stunning performances this season attesting to the talent that he has. Most notable of those performances is a hat-trick against Manchester City in a Champions League game, albeit in a losing cause. With that hat-trick, he joined an exclusive list of players to have scored a hat-trick against Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City. He currently sits at the top of the list for most chances created, no.3 in assists (both via open play or inside the box) and no.3 in expected assists in Bundesliga this season. Along with that, he features in the top 5 list for goals scored, precise key passes, and big chances created. By and large, he is bossing the midfield at the moment.

Image source: Bundesliga

Plenty in Store

It is no fluke that he is getting the attention of teams like Manchester United for the summer transfer. With the way he is playing and the numbers he is producing, there is no reason why teams would not be interested. As for him, he needs to keep his head down and do what he has been doing and let the rest take care of themselves. If he hones his talent and abilities, it will be difficult for his opponents to stop him from doing his things, for years to come. Although he is yet to represent his country, it only seems a matter of time before he does that. He is a rare breed of player capable of doing things most can’t do. Whether or not he can do it season after season, only time will tell.