Having been regarded as one of the best coaches in German football, Thomas Tuchel brings a continental knowledge to Chelsea. The Blues coach also worked for Paris Saint-Germain previously, so has a strong knowledge of talent in the Ligue 1 and in the Bundesliga. However, one player he may know more about than most is Christopher Nkunku.
Currently at RB Leipzig, the player joined the German side from PSG as a youngster and has gone about making a really strong career for himself. A stellar run of form to start the 2021-22 season has seen him continue on from his progress in previous season. A fee of around £13m was paid for the playmaker, but is unlikely that even swapping those numbers around would be enough to make RB consider a sale.
His value has exploded in recent years, and it has been a clear sign of the progress that is being made at RBL for players. The East German giants have quickly become a hotbed of player talent and development. Under Julian Nagelsmann, the France midfielder has gone to a new level entirely. With Jesse Marsch now in charge at Leipzig, the American has built the team around the performances of Nkunku.
And while team performances and results are inconsistent, Nkunku has shown up in every game that he has played so far. A hat-trick against Manchester City was a landmark moment for the player, despite his side being on the end of a thrashing.
Chelsea, then, might look to make good on their long-term interest in the player with a bid in the summer of 2022. He is seen as one of the most exciting young talents in the Bundesliga, and Tuchel might finally reunite himself with a player he worked with previously.
Chelsea making good on Arsenal loss
While getting a top player would be ideal, Blues fans can also revel in a bit of a what-if moment if the transfer does happen. When Unai Emery was the Arsenal coach, he was intent on loaning Nkunku whom he had worked with previously. However, he chose to go for Denis Suarez and instead left the permanent deal for Nkunku on the table.
The player instead went to Germany and has now established himself as a senior international and a top player. However, with a contract set to run out in 2024, RBL either need the player to sign new terms or move on this summer to get maximum value for the player.
Chelsea will be keen to grab as many youthful and versatile talents as they can, as they look to build a dynasty in the domestic and international game. With the arrival of Nkunku, they would further improve attacking and wide options whilst ensuring that the other linked English teams cannot land the player.
For Tuchel, then, the chance to grab a player whom his PSG predecessor could have had instead could be an opportunity that is simply too good to turn down.