Manchester United interim boss Ralf Rangnick has given an indirect hint why the club should make Christian Nkunku the club’s top attacking summer target.
Rangnick reportedly recommended Nkunku to United’s scouts in February, ESPN reported, and the forward has gone onto hit 30 goals this season so far. He is starring for the German’s former club RB Leipzig.
Rangnick’s latest comments came at a press conference ahead of tonight’s game, when he talked about his own ability to spot talent, providing the basis for Liverpool’s current success, with the Merseysiders raiding his former clubs.
He was quoted by the MEN: “It’s no coincidence that they’re as good as they are. Jurgen has built that team over the last six-and-a-half years. Six or seven of those players used to be my/our players when we signed them for our clubs when nobody knew them.”
Rangnick doubled down on this, telling the club website: “They have six former players of ours, from either Schalke, Hoffenheim, Salzburg or Leipzig, so it’s probably the highest number of players that nobody knew by the time we either signed them or gave them their debuts.”
United’s next step
Rangnick is obviously proud of his ability to spot players and build clubs. This is why United brought him on board, to help create a structure which will benefit and help Manchester United’s next manager.
So the obvious next step for United’s recruitment department to try and echo the success Liverpool have enjoyed, is to start shopping for players in the same market, rather than chasing Galacticos.
United’s next manager Erik ten Hag has an appreciation for the Bundesliga from his time at Bayern Munich, and as reported by Dutch source AD, Leipzig even made enquiries over Ten Hag earlier this year, showing a potential synchronicity between the two.
With all of this in mind as background information, it seems a no-brainer that behind the scenes, Rangnick will have been making strong recommendations for United to sign Leipzig’s top goalscorer, with United’s need for a striker.
Rangnick has already publicly acknowledged United need a striker with Edinson Cavani leaving, citing the need as ‘obvious’ via BBC Sport.
Having cited Liverpool’s success as being partly down to players he has recruited and scouted, Christian Nkunku is the obvious top target.
Nkunku has 48 goal contributions in 44 games this season, report Leipzig’s website, which hails his productivity as a club record.
There are various ways to move up front this summer for United, from Harry Kane to Darwin Nunez, to even a leftfield move for an Ivan Toney. But Nkunku could be the most exciting option of the bunch, able to link the play, create, score goals, better than any other, if this is what Ten Hag is looking for.
Rangnick has been proven as a great identifier of talent, and he is right to shout about it. Manchester United’s board would be fools not to listen.
Rebuilding the club is going to take time, and progress will only be made bit by bit, one brick at a time. Echoing Liverpool by recruiting one of Rangnick’s former stars is a great foundation for United to lay.
Nkunku’s form this season has been simply sensational and at just 24, United would be signing the forward at exactly the right time.