Football

Where would Christopher Nkunku fit in at Man Utd?

Man Utd will undoubtedly look to strengthen their squad this summer. And one player they are monitoring closely is RB Leipzig midfielder ​​Christopher Nkunku.

According to ESPN, Man Utd boss Ralf Rangnick has told the club to do all they can to sign the 24-year-old. But where would Nkunku fit in at Old Trafford?

Man Utd

Paul Pogba’s replacement?

One major reason why United may need to strengthen is due to the potential departure of Paul Pogba. The midfielder has been heavily affected by injury this season. When he has played, however, there are glimpses of ability and class that fans know he possesses.

But this has perhaps not come often enough. Moreover, Pogba’s contract at Old Trafford is rapidly expiring. Both PSG and Real Madrid have been strongly linked with making a move for him over the years.

Finally letting Pogba go, though, would certainly make sense for Man Utd. It would free up both a space in the starting XI and indeed some much-needed funds to finance a deal for Nkunku.

Like Pogba, the Leipzig star has been utilised in several different positions this season. Both players have found themselves occupying a spot on the left and right midfield.

Unlike Pogba, however, Nkunku has been hugely consistent. Another difference in their roles is the fact that Pogba can also play much deeper in midfield. Nkunku is certainly not a defensive-minded player.

The Leipzig man, when played through the middle, occupies an attacking midfield role. This is undoubtedly his desired position. However, he has even played as a second striker and in a centre forward role for the Bundesliga side.

That may be a problem in the recruitment process of United in the summer. The Red Devils will more than likely want to strengthen in defensive midfield. This area has long been troubling the club for some time. Whether or not they can afford to buy in both the attacking and defensive midfield areas remains to be seen.

Why are Man Utd chasing Nkunku?

It’s clear to see why Rangnick wants the 24-year-old. The attacker’s form this season has been nothing short of sublime. He boasts 11 goals and nine assists in 22 Bundesliga games. Both Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund have been on the receiving end of his goalscoring exploits.

But it is perhaps his displays in Europe that have got the world watching. Nkunku scored seven goals from his six matches in the group stages. That included a hat-trick against Manchester City. Only Sebastien Haller and Robert Lewandowksi have more goals in the current campaign.

A goal and two more assists have also arrived in his three DFB-Pokal games. It brings his tally to 19 goals and 13 assists from 31 matches this season. It is only a matter of time, then, before the France national squad come calling with a first international cap.

Man Utd meanwhile have been struggling for goals under Rangnick. One positive, however, is the upturn in the form of Jadon Sancho. His current form could be a huge motivation for United to try and swoop for another star of the Bundesliga.

About the author

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Peter Lynch

Sports Journalism graduate from the University of Stirling, huge Liverpool and Northern Ireland fan, currently working as a freelancer.

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