Christopher Nkunku’s move from RB Leipzig to Chelsea has finally been confirmed. Although according to Fabrizio Romano, the deal has been done since October last year when the Frenchman underwent a medical and agreed personal terms over a period of several months. The forward arrives for €60m on a six-year contract.
Nkunku completed his medical during the summer when Thomas Tuchel was still head coach, agreed personal terms under Graham Potter and will now play for Mauricio Pochettino, missing out on Frank Lampard altogether. A reminder of the turmoil that the Stamford Bridge side have faced this season.
Nkunku will be joining a club in disarray with new owner Todd Boehly bringing in an entire squad of players for just over £500 million and hiring and firing managers at will. Despite all of these signings adding to an already bloated squad, the club still had no reliable striker to pin their goalscoring hopes on.
Some could say that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang could have filled in the striker position, but the Gabonese forward is heading towards the end of his career now and would have been unlikely to carry the burden of being Chelsea’s main striker.
Official | Chelsea sign RB Leipzig’s Christopher Nkunku
This is where Nkunku comes in, 16 goals in 25 Bundesliga appearances last season meant he was once again Leipzig’s star man, despite a knee injury that saw him miss out on the World Cup and part of the Bundesliga campaign. He helped the club to their second DFB Pokal in a row and a third place finish in the Bundesliga, ensuring Leipzig will once again be playing Champions League football next season.
It was, in the end, a rather satisfying season for the forward and the club considering the poor run of results at the start of the season that led to Domenico Tedesco being replaced by Marco Rose.
Nkunku will be arriving at a club that has just had a catastrophic season that saw them go through three managers, finishing 12th in the Premier League and struggling to find the back of the net.
And with the appointment of Pochettino which hasn’t gone down well with fans, it will now be up to him to figure out where Nkunku fits in this squad that can’t afford to have another season like the one they have just had.
Chelsea are well known for having problems in the striker positions with names such as Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner springing to mind.
Nkunku finished his spell at Leipzig with 70 goals in 172 appearances with 56 assists and can play anywhere across the forward line and in attacking midfield, with Chelsea fans hoping their centre forward curse does not return.
However it is widely expected that Pochettino will want to play him as a number 9, spearheading his Chelsea side, although he does have the ability to drop back and become a second striker linking up with wingers such as Raheem Sterling and Mykhaylo Mudryk.
This versatility of where Nkunku can play will no doubt make him a strong asset for the club going forward and is a player that the Chelsea fans have every right to be excited for.
GGFN | Jacob Toland