Leaving for Leipzig to launch his career, Christopher Nkunku (24) has earned his star status in the Bundesliga. Best player of the past season, the former Parisian has all the weapons to win now in the France team. Back on an exemplary journey.
It is the French footballer who rises. After an impressive 2021/2022 season, Christopher Nkunku has finally managed to make a name for himself with the general public. The young Parisian Titi took off in the jersey of RB Leipzig to the point of becoming the second Frenchman named best player in the Bundesliga after Franck Ribéry in 2008. A rare performance which is not a surprise for his former trainer in Fontainebleau, Norbert Boj, who saw him land in 2009.
” He arrived from Marolles with us to evolve in Regional. We had a good run and Paris had spotted it during the regional finals. In Marolles, it was not bad already. Then at home, in the U13 group, he was the best player. Technical, hardworking and lively, he was humble. If he is at this level today, it is not trivial. He is a player who already had qualities, but he did a lot of work to give himself the chance to succeed. It had all these parameters. Christopher had impressive natural qualities, but you would never have believed that he could become the best player in his league or even in the France team. But he had that little bit more than the others. »
But not to the point of seeing him become international 13 years later. ” When we saw him sign pro at PSG, we were happy and proud for him. We had after Tanguy Kouassi. The France team was an additional level and a stronger joy. In Marolles, I don’t think he would have been spotted. It was by coming to Fontainebleau that he was able to show himself and go to PSG. »
“His departure to Leipzig was a good thing”
Humble and reserved, Christopher Nkunku immediately understood that work was the only recipe for a successful and great career. At the start of the relay midfielder, he already showed great versatility which led him to often find himself in attack. Even if at PSG he did not necessarily have the opportunity to have his chance…
According to former residents of the PSG training center, it is complicated to succeed in Paris, even for the most relentless according to Tripy Makonda (Parisian from 2007 to 2011).
” He struggled to make a place for himself at PSG. There were quite a few players in his position at that time. However, he managed to make good returns. He had a good goals-per-minute ratio. In terms of personality, I felt that he was struggling to establish himself in the Parisian workforce. It was normal. He’s a Parisian Titi. He plays in the park. NOTkunku belongs to a locker room with quite strong characters. He could only be made very small. »
” These are factors that worked against him. His move to Leipzig was good for him. Germany offers clubs that allow French people to flourish in the German environment. It took on another dimension. Already in relation to his position. He was shifted, right side, while being more centered and close to the goal. It allowed him to be efficient. He was more present in front of goal. He showed his ability to be decisive. From the moment we are the center of the project, we can only improve. Its natural qualities take over. It is a reference in attack in Germany. »
Nkunku didn’t have a chance with PSG
Indeed, it is indeed in Germany that the native of Lagny-sur-Marne has flourished since 2019 and after 9 years on the side of Paris, including 4 seasons in the main team. Former captain of the Parisian reserve, Mathieu Rangoly welcomes Nkunku’s good season and is already dreaming of a return for the latter at the Parc des Princes.
” It is a great pride to see his progress and especially to see after Mamadou Sakho that there is another young player from the Parisian team who is a hit and who finishes best player in his championship. It’s beautiful, especially abroad. Sakho had done it in France. Nkunku still has a lot of room for improvement. PSG did not bet on him, but today, on the new project, we can imagine that a return could be made, like Nicolas Anelka, but with better conditions. »
For me, a former Parisian Titi, it’s beautiful and it shows young people that anything is possible. We must not stop only on PSG. There are other clubs that allow you to flourish according to your qualities, your potential and your vision of football. I hope he will continue to make us dream, with magnificent stats, while imposing himself 100% in the French team.. »
Today an educator at PSG, Nicolas Cousin believes that Christopher Nkunku fell at the wrong time in the face of strong competition for his position between 2015 and 2019.
Deschamps rewards Nkunku
” We are happy for what Nkunku is doing in Germany. For me, the real Titi is the one who succeeds with us, without having left, like Kimpembe. Afterwards, I think there are several profiles. It was complicated for him at the time to pass players like Zlatan (Ibrahimović) or Cavani. It was difficult to find a place. When he arrived, he did not have the level to win and he needed playing time to progress and assert himself. He got it in Germany at a second-tier club. »
” Without the reserve, it is difficult for a young Parisian to make the transition. We see that once gone they are good like Nkunku, Diaby and Coman. It’s nice to see the number of players trained at PSG succeeding in Europe in the big clubs and in the French team. »
In Germany, Christopher Nkunku has become a key figure in the Bundesliga, especially after his extension until 2026 at RB Leipzig. Bochum captain Anthony Losilla cannot deny it.
” He had a sensational season. nkunku shone with his talent. He scored decisive goals, which only great talents manage to score. Gradually, it is one of the best in Europe. He still has all the qualities to go further. Thanks to his season, he discovered the France team. It is deserved. I was able to meet him several times and in particular in a match where he is on the bench, he comes in, scores and we lose 1-0. »
” It’s impressive to see that every weekend he scores goals and provides assists. In Germany, he is seen as a great player and his title of best player of the season is deserved. Honestly, there are other players who could have had him, but he was consistent and consistent. It is well deserved. I was already watching him play at PSG. He was young, but I found him already very strong. He had that potential. It was seen. That he breaks out like this is a bit of a surprise, but I’m happy for the France team that he can still flourish and shine. »
A return to PSG could be done
It is now obvious that the rest of Christopher Nkunku’s career goes through the Blues. ” For the France team, his game of movement and his simplicity allow him to get along well with his teammates, Tripy Makonda analysis. He finds connection through his sensitivity. He is a player who plays with a lot of movement and great intelligence. »
And on the side of Fontainebleau, we are delighted to see again in the French team gestures and races that he already repeated during his young years. And if this allows the RCPF to have a second world champion after 1998 and Lilian Thuram, we would not hesitate.
After almost returning to PSG this summer, the former Titi has not finished with the club of his childhood. A return to the capital is more and more often considered. This time he is ready.