RB Leipzig’s Christopher Nkunku has been tipped with a move to Manchester United in the summer transfer window after an outstanding goalscoring campaign so far this season.
United interim boss Ralf Rangnick has been monitoring talent in Germany since his arrival at the club, and with the German moving into his consultancy role at the end of the season, Rangnick could push for a move to be made on Nkunku.
Since moving to Leipzig from Paris Saint-Germain in 2019, Nkunku has gone from strength to strength in a number of different attacking positions, but he has especially thrived as an attacking midfielder so far this season, grabbing an outstanding 19 goals and 13 assists in 31 games.
Nkunku scored a hat trick against Manchester City during the UEFA Champions League group stages earlier this season, a performance which would’ve grabbed the eye of many English football fans who weren’t too familiar with the Frenchman.
His versatility could be a big bonus for United as well, with Nkunku having been deployed on both wings, as a striker, a central midfielder and even as a wing-back during his time in Germany.
So, if Nkunku was to make the move to United in the summer, what sort of impact could he have on Rangnick’s side?
Could the Frenchman help United win a trophy?
We simulated the 2022/23 season with Nkunku in the United squad and this is what happened.
We ‘signed’ Christopher Nkunku for United in July 2022
To set up this simulation, we used the Football Manager 2022 editor to arrange for Nkunku to join United at the start of the summer transfer window, using FM22 to run the simulation.
We also released Paul Pogba, Jesse Lingard, Edinson Cavani, Juan Mata, Tahith Chong and Lee Grant at the beginning of the season, with the sextet all out of contract in the summer of 2022.
This is how Nkunku’s in-game profile looks on FM22.
Let’s see how Nkunku performed throughout the 2022/23 season at Manchester United on FM22.
Nkunku was a regular starter under Mauricio Pochettinho, the manager who was hired in-game, with the Frenchman making 52 appearances in all competitions.
His best competition was the Premier League where he started 36 games, scoring 11 goals and grabbing 10 assists in total.
In all competitions, Nkunku scored 14 goals and also grabbed 18 assists, averaging a rating of 7.33 per game and ending the season as United’s top assister.
At the end of the 2022/23 season, Football Manager 2022 put together an overall best Man United XI, based on performances, statistics and other metrics.
This is what United’s best XI looked like at the end of the 2022/23 season as predicted by Football Manager 2022:
Full United best XI (4-3-3): De Gea; Dalot, Maguire, Varane, Shaw; Fernandes, Valverde, Nkunku; Sancho, Ronaldo, Rashford.
Nkunku made it into United’s best XI for the 2022/23 season as a central midfielder alongside Bruno Fernandes, with January signing Federico Valverde also joining the duo in midfield.
Compared to other midfielders and attackers at United, Nkunku ended the season as the most creative, grabbing the most assists as well as the fourth most goals.
The 24-year-old ended the campaign as United’s fifth highest scorer and fifth best-rated player, with Cristiano Ronaldo ending the season as the best in both categories.
Ronaldo also won the most Player of the Match awards (10), followed by Nkunku (6).
So, how did United perform in the league and cup competitions after signing the Frenchman in the summer transfer window?
United’s results from the 2022/23 simulation:
United finished third in the Premier League at the end of the 2022/23 season, but Pochettino’s side were extremely close to winning the league, ending the campaign on the same points as Liverpool and Man City, only behind on goal difference.
72 goals scored throughout the season made United the highest scoring team in the league, but Liverpool’s superior defensive record saw them win the title.
Nkunku did play a big part in helping United win some trophies, with the Frenchman scoring the winning goal for United in the Carabao Cup final against Aston Villa.
Nkunku also scored in the FA Cup semi finals to help United to the final, where goals from Sancho and Fernandes handed Pochettino’s side a 2-0 win over nine-men Liverpool.
United crashed out of the Champions League in the quarter finals though, losing 3-2 on aggregate to Liverpool.
Overall, our Football Manager 2022 simulation suggests that if United were to sign Nkunku in the summer, he could have an incredible attacking impact, becoming United’s top assister and one of the top scorers, also helping push United to two trophies in the simulation.
Would you like to see Christopher Nkunku sign for Man United? Let us know in the comments below.
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