Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Arsenal Express Interest In Bundesliga Playmaker: He Could Be A Massive Coup For Mikel Arteta

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Jack O’Brien
A 22 y/o football nerd seeking my way into football writing. I love Irish football and also the Premier League. A huge Arsenal fan! Aside from writing, I like to spend my time fishing and drinking beer.

According to SportBild, Arsenal have expressed interest in the services of Christopher Nkunku. The RB Leipzig star has been identified as one of many players who could leave the club following excellent performances in the Bundesliga. Arsenal, however, could face stiff competition from a number of unnamed clubs in the pursuit of Nkunku, who is thought to be valued at around €40 million.

Christopher Nkunku: A Creator-In-Chief For RB Leipzig

A product of the PSG youth academy, Nkunku’s rise to prominence in the Bundesliga has been quick. Since joining Leipzig last summer, the Frenchman has emerged as a creator-in-chief for the east German giants, notably racking up as many as 15 assists last season. He also scored five goals, ultimately helping Leipzig finish in the top three.

Nkunku’s form has faded to an extent in the ongoing campaign while the playmaker has not been helped by the growing competition in the side, especially following the arrival of players like Dani Olmo, Justin Kluivert and Hwang Hee-chan.

That said, the 22-year-old has still been a vital outlet in the attacking midfield role due to his ability to find key passes in the final third. The offensive midfielder is also capable of crafting opportunities from set-pieces while his technical prowess makes it easier for him to not only carry the ball across half-spaces but also play clever one-twos with teammates in the final third.

Arsenal have expressed in the services of Christopher Nkunku - The ideal Ozil replacement?
Leipzig’s French midfielder Christopher Nkunku reacts prior to the German first division Bundesliga football match RB Leipzig v Hertha Berlin on October 24, 2020, in Leipzig, eastern Germany. (Photo by Odd ANDERSEN / AFP) / DFL REGULATIONS PROHIBIT ANY USE OF PHOTOGRAPHS AS IMAGE SEQUENCES AND/OR QUASI-VIDEO (Photo by ODD ANDERSEN/AFP via Getty Images)

Do Arsenal Need Someone Like Nkunku?

Following a vast improvement in the defensive game, Arsenal seem to have finally returned to a familiar four-man defensive setup under Mikel Arteta this season. However, their problem regarding lack of creativity has persisted, with the likes of Nicolas Pepe and Bukayo Saka not being able to provide that creative spark on a regular basis.

Nkunku, in that regard, could be a vital asset for the Arsenal side for multiple reasons.

The Frenchman could ideally establish himself as a long-term replacement for Mesut Ozil, who has been left out of Arteta’s plans and is almost destined to depart Emirates next summer.

Tactically, Nkunku could slot in perfectly in the number ten role, at the expense of Saka, who could be a much more effective outlet in the left-wing slot. The presence of the Leipzig attacker in the advanced midfield role, especially with additional support from the two defensive-minded midfielders like Thomas Partey and Mohamed Elneny could add a lot of stability for the Gunners.

Nkunku’s versatility, meanwhile, means the 22-year-old can also be employed in the wide attacking role. His tenacity and aggression should allow him to conveniently join Arsenal’s first line of press as well – making him a tailor-made fit for Arteta.

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