Tue, 26 Sep 2023

Feature: Nkunku looks ahead to last dance with Leipzig

Oliver Trust
31 May 2023, 22:30 GMT+10

BERLIN, May 31 (Xinhua) -- The wide range of Christopher Nkunku's skills might still be a secret. As the striker's outstanding sportive values are visible on the football pitch, the French international's more private talents might be pushed to the background.

It might well be that the 25-year-old is going to prove his beard-and-hair-cutting qualities ahead of RB Leipzig's German Cup final this Saturday evening against 2022 Europa League winner Eintracht Frankfurt.

As coach Marco Rose and sporting director Max Eberl decided to run all training sessions behind closed doors, Nkunku's teammates might as well skip their hairdresser appointments and have a chat with the Bundesliga's 2022-23 season top scorer.

16 goals in 25 games might stand for the lowest number of season goals scored in the German league's history, but Nkunku is enjoying the limelight.

In his four years in the Leipzig shirt, the attacker not only developed into a force of international quality and made his way into the French national team, but strengthened his reputation of being a reliable hairdresser when cases turn urgent.

Considering his importance on several stages one can understand the grief about him most likely leaving this summer after the Cup final.

Media reports speak of a done deal with Premier League side Chelsea worth around 60 million euros. While manager Eberl is keeping things a secret, coach Rose and Danish striker Youssouf Poulsen talk openly about the near departure.

Rose spoke about "his last week with us" while Poulsen talked about losing a buddy, outstanding striker, and teammate. "But that is football; we just try to have a last great game and win the title again," Poulsen said.

Nkunku knows about how to win finals as RB took the victory in 2022 when having to go into a penalty shootout against Freiburg.

The French scored two goals, one within the playing time, and opened the gates to happiness with his successful penalty.

"We know how it feels to win a game like that and this is coming along with the desire to win it again," the attacker stated.

His words seem accompanied by confidence as he proved his quality on his way up over the past years.

The attacker gained over five kilos of muscle mass and significantly increased his competitiveness. As he might be well prepared for a move to the English Premier League a last goal remains with Leipzig.

"To win the national Cup event is something very special and it gives you a lot of motivation to win more titles," the Paris St Germain breed said.

It hasn't been the most enjoyable season for the RB striker as several injuries forced him into recovery breaks. He scored his 16 league goals in only 25 games.

Not to speak of the UEFA Champions League duel against Manchester City when getting only 24 minutes of playing time in the first duel (1-1). Nkunku missed the second leg when his side got crushed to pieces losing 7-0.

Nkunku feels ready to face the challenge in the English league but is speaking of a heart case to kick the can down the road with Leipzig for the last time this Saturday.

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