Christopher Nkunku is staying in Leipzig! RBL and the Bundesliga’s 2021/22 Player of the Season have agreed to extend the attacker’s contract until 2026 – it was originally due to expire in 2024.
We have almost run out of superlatives for Christo – what else can we say? When it looked as if he had peaked, the Frenchman just reached yet another level. He’s overtaken superstars like Lewandowski, Haaland and more in several categories, breaking numerous records and setting a new high-water mark for the Bundesliga. Last season was the campaign of his life so far, and we’re excited to see what Christo will do this time around for RB Leipzig.
Starting off at PSG
It was obvious this lad had talent from an early age. Christopher Nkunku, born on November 14th 1997 in Lagny-sur-Marne, less than 20 miles from the centre of Paris, joined the youth academy of Paris St. Germain aged 13. He played in various academy teams until 2015, including 17 UEFA Youth League matches for their U19s side, scoring nine goals.
Debut under Laurent Blanc
The end of 2015 saw Nkunku make the step up to the first team, coach Laurent Blanc giving the 18-year-old his first professional minutes in a 2-0 win over Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League. Christo played at the Parc des Princes for four seasons, gaining match practice year by year. In 2018/19, his final season in France, he made 29 appearances, scored four goals and created two more. At PSG, he won Ligue 1 three times and the Coupe de France twice.
The show goes on!
At RBL since 2019
Summer 2019 saw Nkunku join RBL: “I’ve heard a lot about the club and I’m sure that the style of play here suits me well,” he said at the time. He was definitely right: in just his first season, when he made 21 starts in the Bundesliga, he scored five goals and set up a further 15. The following year, the French international suffered with ankle and back injuries, but was able to add more goals to his game, with 7 goals and 11 assists in all competitions.
Numerous records for Nkunku
Last season, though, our number 18 caused a real stir! No other Bundesliga player found himself in the upper echelons of as many statistics and categories as Christo. The Frenchman played the most minutes of any outfield RBL player, but also scored a fantastic 35 goals and set up 20 more in his 52 games. With 55 goal involvements, he smashed Timo Werner’s record of 47 as the most prolific player ever for RB Leipzig. With a top speed of 35.5 km/h, Nkunku is also our fastest attacking player.
He was also named as the Bundesliga’s Player of the Month a staggering four times, in October 2021 as well as three in a row from February to April 2022 – the crowning glory came at the end of the season, through, as he was named as the Bundesliga Player of the Season for 2021/22!
"Every day, I work for tomorrow"
Debut for French national team
Versatile attacker Nkunku has been played mostly as a second striker by Domenico Tedesco, although he can play across the front line. His central role has allowed him to show just how good he is, and France coach Didier Deschamps has not let that go unnoticed.
Back in March, Nkunku’s dreams became reality as he was named in the French national team for the very first time. “I’m really happy to play for my country,” Christo said, making his debut for Les Bleus against the Cote d’Ivoire on March 25th. Since then, the caps have kept on coming, making several further appearances for France in the UEFA Nations League.
In RB Leipzig’s historic DFB-Pokal victory, Nkunku did not just score a crucial equaliser, to take the game to extra time, he also netted an unstoppable opening penalty in the shoot out, helping the team on their way to the win. He ended the competition with the joint-most goal involvements alongside Bayern’s Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting with 7.
You might say that Christo has reached the summit, but if there’s one man who can improve on perfection, it’s him.