Christopher Nkunku insists his decision to commit to RB Leipzig is not merely delaying a move to a bigger club next year.
Nkunku signed a new deal in June, extending his contract with the Bundesliga team by two years until 2026 despite being linked with a host of Europe’s biggest teams.
France international Nkunku joined Leipzig from Paris Saint-Germain in 2019 and has gone from strength to strength in Germany, netting 35 goals and adding 16 assists across all competitions last season. Of players in Europe’s top five leagues, only Robert Lewandowski, Karim Benzema and Kylian Mbappe scored more times in the 2021-22 campaign.
The 24-year-old was a part of the Leipzig side that in May won the club’s first ever DFB-Pokal, and after that cup triumph they will be aiming to challenge for Bundesliga supremacy, with Bayern Munich presently on a run of 10 consecutive league titles.
Previously linked with the likes of Chelsea, Real Madrid and Manchester United, Nkunku could become the subject of fresh interest should he play a starring role at the World Cup or continue to build on his excellent club form.
However, he said on Thursday: “For me, it was a given to extend my contract here. I feel right at home in this city and at this club. I still don’t see my work here as finished. So I’m not thinking about leaving the club next year either.
“We did really well as a team last season, but there’s still more to come. I want to continue the success with RB Leipzig.”
Unstoppable! Check out some of the best skills, strikes and assists from @c_nk97 pic.twitter.com/3ys8GhthlD
— Bundesliga English (@Bundesliga_EN) July 13, 2022
Nkunku’s individual performance earned him the Bundesliga player of the season award. He took that ahead of Bayern’s Lewandowski, who scored 35 goals in the competition.
“The numbers look outstanding but in the end it was a team performance,” Nkunku told reporters. “The lads helped me a lot. Without them, I wouldn’t have been able to get any goals or assists.
“Together we are working to make this season even better. And I’m convinced that we can achieve something even greater.”
Leipzig begin the new season with a DFL-Supercup clash against Bayern on July 30, with their Bundesliga campaign commencing away to Stuttgart on August 7.
Between the 2020-21 season and the start of last term, Leizpig lost head coach Julian Nagelsmann, while defenders Dayot Upamecano and Ibrahima Konate went to Bayern and Liverpool respectively. Midfielder Marcel Sabitzer also headed to Bavaria early in the season.
There has been nothing nearly as dramatic this time around, so far.
“The team has hardly changed. There was no great upheaval this summer, and that’s a good thing,” Nkunku said.
“I can’t say whether we’re good enough to win the league, but we will be in the hunt and we will give it our best shot. We all want more and in the end we could achieve something really great.”
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