Christian Nkunku's masterclass shows why Manchester United want to sign him
Manchester United’s desire to sign a forward leaves incoming manager Erik ten Hag with a handful of distinct options this coming summer.
Does he choose a mega-money move for proven Premier League goalscorer Harry Kane? Or does he spend big, but a little less, on in-form Uruguayan powerhouse Darwin Nunez?
There is a third option which could shift the entire way Ten Hag’s United play, to splash out on RB Leipzig attacker Christian Nkunku.
Nkunku is not a traditional forward, he is more of a Roberto Firmino type in how he operates, just far more clinical and dangerous.
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Nkunku was in action on Thursday night as RB Leipzig took on Atalanta in the Europa League. He scored twice to seal a 2-0 win.
The first goal was the culmination of a swift counter-attack, sweeping the ball into the bottom corner with an accurate first time shot which went in off the post.
The second was a penalty after he won the spot-kick when he was fouled in the area as he looked to get into a goalscoring position.
Nkunku is now up to 30 goals for the season, with Transfermarkt reporting he has a further 18 assists to his name too. These are quite staggering figures.
The Frenchman’s goal and assist record showcases him as a very strong, viable alternative to Nunez, one who is a totally different style. Erik ten Hag certainly has options.
United are paying attention
Ralf Rangnick played a key part in signing Nkunku for Leipzig and reportedly recommended him to United’s scouting department.
ESPN reported Nkunku was not initially on United’s list of targets, but he is now, after Rangnick’s advice, and rightly so.
Nkunku can play either as a number 10, a winger, or a centre-forward, and it is leading the line where he has enjoyed most success this season. If Erik ten Hag wants a versatile striker, as opposed to a more traditional hitman like Nunez, then Nkunku is the best option around, even bagging a hat-trick against City earlier in the season.
He was recently called into France’s international squad and made his Les Bleus debut, and at 24, his best years may still be ahead of him, even though it is going to take some going for him to top this truly prolific campaign, where he is currently looking unstoppable.