Tactical Profile #001 – Christopher Nkunku

Christopher Nkunku, born 14/11/97, is a French attacking midfielder playing for Bundesliga club RB Leipzig. After joining in the summer of 2019, Nkunku has helped RB Leipzig to 3rd place at the time of writing, 5 points behind league leaders Bayern Munich. Nkunku rose through the ranks at Paris Saint Germain, representing the club at U17, U19, B team and finally Senior team level before leaving for German soil. Christopher Nkuku averages a rating of 7.52 per game in the Bundesliga in 2019/20. Statistically, the 8th best player in the competition (whoscored.com)

Stats (2019/20:)

Position: AMC, MC, ML/W

Appearances: 23

Goals: 4

Assists: 12

KP/90: 3.99

XG: 5.81

XA: 8.57

Market Value: £25.2m (Transfermarkt – 30/04/20)

(stats source: Understat.com)

Nkunku has contributed to 29% of RB Leipzig’s 62 Bundesliga goals. This is contrast with Borussia Dortmund’s Thorgan Hazard who has contributed 22%. Both players play a similar role in their teams’ system. When comparing further metrics, Nkunku outperforms Hazard in all areas apart from XGBuildup90, this suggests that Hazard drops deeper in the build-up of play helping to link Dortmund’s midfield and attack. In 2019/20, Nkunku is putting up some frighteningly good numbers. Let’s examine them:

Goals:

  • Christopher Nkunku’s 4 league goals place him 4th for goals scored from attacking midfielders in the Bundesliga. Behind Phillipe Coutinho (8), Kai Havertz (6) and Amine Harit (6)  

Assists: 

  • Nkunku has assisted Timo Werner 5 times, the joint second best in the Bundesliga behind Thomas Müller assisting Robert Lewandowski.
  • Nkunku’s 12 Bundesliga assists place him 3rd in the league behind Thomas Müller (16) and Jadon Sancho (15) 

KP/90:

  • Nkunku’s Key Passes per 90 at 3.99 is his most elite stat. 
  • In perspective, here are the KP/90 stats of some elite attacking players in ‘19/20:

Leo Messi – 2.58

Kevin De Bruyne – 3.89

Trent Alexander-Arnold – 2.64

Thomas Müller – 3.42

Neymar – 2.58

(KP/90 stats source: Understat.com)

  • Nkunku shares some fine company indeed.

At £25.2 million Christopher Nkunku represents outstanding value in the Transfer Market. Having said that, post Covid-19, teams will be reluctant to part with their most prized assets and Nkunku himself would be apprehensive about leaving a title challenging team. Money talks as we know, mind! 

Published by georgepitches

I'm an aspiring football writer in my first year of university, studying International Business at the university of Liverpool. As current European champions, there's nowhere more exciting to be a football fan.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: