Thursday, February 9, 2023

Chelsea: Nkunku may hinder Bellingham move

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Chelsea have ridden turbulent waters since sacking Champions League-winning manager Thomas Tuchel at the start of the season and replacing him with Graham Potter, but could soon have a gem on their hands to guide them to success.

What’s the word?

This is according to esteemed transfer guru Fabrizio Romano, who recently claimed via Twitter that RB Leipzig’s midfield maestro Christopher Nkunku is on the verge of a move to Stamford Bridge, after the clubs agreed a £52m fee.

Romano’s tweet read: “Chelsea are closing in on Christopher Nkunku deal. Medical already done as reported in September, agreement in place with Leipzig for more than €60m clause/easier payment terms. Long term deal agreed starting from June 2023.”

With the Blues longtime admirers of the France international, the deal signifies a statement of intent in all but securing one of Europe’s most touted stars after a lacklustre start to the campaign, but it could wedge a spanner in the pursuit of another hot prospect. 

Bellingham blow

The prospective capture of Nkunku is unequivocally a rousing acquisition; a deft, fearless attacking midfielder with versatility across the forward line, capable of weaving through defensive blocks and striking on goal with devastating effect.

Indeed, after clinching double figures in both goals and assists in Germany last term, the 25-year-old, who often sits just behind the central striker, has spectacularly netted 17 times in just 23 appearances, also providing four assists, for Leipzig this season. 

Can Nkunku improve Chelsea’s season?

Whilst Chelsea fans will be delighted with new owner Todd Boehly’s drive to bolster the frontline, it does perhaps roughen the road toward a deal for Borussia Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham, who is one of global football’s most coveted stars at present.

With major interest from the likes of Liverpool, Manchester City and Real Madrid, Romano also confirmed that Potter also wished to lure the 19-year-old prodigy to West London, but with the signing of Nkunku such a deal is now only harder to achieve. 

Chelsea are certainly one of the world’s most affluent outfits, but they do not yield a bottomless pit; signing Nkunku threads the gap between Chelsea’s centre and attack, but an out-and-out centre-forward is still likely to be an area of investment for the Blues in the coming months.

Whilst different players, Bellingham is reported to have an asking price of £129.5m, and, coupled with Nkunku, such a deal could severely impact Chelsea’s investment across the park. 

Regardless, fans should certainly not lament the move for the Leipzig sensation, labelled “unstoppable” by journalist Zach Lowy, with his unique skillset capable of lifting Chelsea to the very front of the Premier League pack. 

Former boss Jesse Marsch also hailed the prolific ace, saying he has “no weaknesses”, with his stunning seasonal return strengthened by a passing accuracy of 83%, a return of 2.9 shots per game, and also creating three big chances, as per SofaScore for German Bundesliga statistics. 

Despite missing out on the 2022 World Cup due to an unfortunate training injury, the eight-cap Nkunku will be a shrewd addition to the Chelsea machine and could slide seamlessly into the fray, and even if his arrival prohibits Bellingham’s, Potter has an enigmatic, driving force to catapult the club to success.



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