Christopher Nkunku Chelsea confirmed: Chelsea have finally confirmed the arrival of Christopher Nkunku from RB Leipzig. The deal between the two clubs was struck in late 2022, and after months of speculation, it has now been made official.
The Blues triggered Nkunku’s €60 million release clause to get the deal over the line. The Frenchman was expected to be on the move regardless of his contract renewal with Leipzig, and Chelsea anticipated the deal with the German club to secure his signature.
Nkunku has signed a six-year deal with Chelsea until 2029, continuing the new tradition of handing out long contracts to players.
Christopher Nkunku Chelsea transfer official: How will he fit in?
With Kai Havertz and Mason Mount being sold this summer, it seems fairly obvious that Nkunku will take up the position behind the striker. The Frenchman has been operating in a different system with RB Leipzig, which features a very specific system. However, under Mauricio Pochettino, he will possibly be deployed in a new role which might not be as the lone centre-forward.
His versatility will allow him to play a variety of roles, based on where the manager sees him as the best fit. And it will be interesting to see how he fits into the team, starting with preseason. And more importantly, whether he can be the answer to Chelsea’s goal scoring problems.
This past season, the 25-year-old was the top scorer in the Bundesliga with 16 goals to his name. This was in spite of several injuries throughout the season, most prominently, the one ruling him out for the 2022 World Cup.
Had he been fit, the forward would have easily claimed the award all for himself instead of sharing it with Niclas Fullkrug. Now, he is set to be a part of an interesting new project with Mauricio Pochettino leading a very young squad in the Premier League next season.
As a result, there is a very good chance that he could replicate his form in the Premier League. But, with Chelsea’s history of underperforming strikers, one can never fully say for certain.
Christopher Nkunku Chelsea move: What did Nkunku say?
“I am incredibly happy to be joining Chelsea,’ said Nkunku. ‘A big effort was made to bring me to the club and I am looking forward to meeting my new coach and teammates and showing the Chelsea supporters what I can do on the pitch.
“Having played in Ligue 1 and the Bundesliga, I now want to play in the Premier League, one of the strongest leagues in the world. I am very excited for this challenge and will be proud to wear the Chelsea shirt.”
With the confirmation, Nkunku becomes the first new signing for the Premier League club of the summer transfer window. Malo Gusto is also expected to join from Lyon, with the deal being struck during the January transfer window, but him being loaned back for the remainder of the season.
Alongside Nkunku, Chelsea are expected to sign Villarreal striker Nicolas Jackson to bolster their attack. They are also in the race to sign a new defensive midfielder, and are keeping tabs on several players for the summer.