Christopher Nkunku has the makings of the latest gem to come out of PSG's academy.
One of the knocks on former PSG coach Laurent Blanc was that he didn’t pick enough local talents from the French club’s academy. Although Nkunku made his PSG debut in a Champions League match against Shakhtar Donetsk in 2015, Blanc’s successor, Unai Emery, has showed more faith, picking the teenager for cup games, 12 league appearances and 20 minutes of the famous 4-0 win over Barcelona.
As a member of PSG’s youth side that reached the UEFA Youth League final last season (beating Real Madrid but losing to Chelsea in the final), Nkunku impressed as a left-footed central midfielder with pace and vision for a pass. He has been used as backup to Blaise Matuidi in the senior squad but could play further forward as an attacking midfielder. He has said that Marco Verratti inspires him and there are touches of the Italian in his approach play.
With Adrien Rabiot and Presnel Kimpembe, the PSG academy is finally bearing fruit. Nkunku could be one of its gems.
What they're saying:
“We are very pleased with him. He's a listener. It’s very important. He does and listens to everything we say, and he has the qualities to go with that. He deserves his chance in the team and can progress.”
– Unai Emery, PSG coach