Real Madrid will not spend for the sake of spending in the summer 2022 transfer window, but after Kylian Mbappe elected to stay at PSG after one of the most drawn-out sagas in history, Los Blancos are searching the market for possible options.
Florentino Perez will be cautious, but there are two positions where reinforcements are possible. The right wing could be an opening with Marco Asensio potentially exiting, though Real could just as easily use a loanee or prospect in conjunction with Rodrygo Goes (and Fede Valverde).
Then, Carlo Ancelotti has asked for a backup striker, as Luka Jovic and Mariano Diaz will almost certainly leave the club this summer. Juanmi Latasa and Borja Mayoral are possible options, but some Madridistas want the team to sign a premium player.
Gabriel Jesus, Amine Gouiri, and Serge Gnabry are among the popular names discussed, but if we are talking about the best overall player Real Madrid could sign, it isn’t any of these three. It is not even Manchester City’s Riyad Mahrez. Or Milan’s Rafael Leao.
Christopher Nkunku established himself as one of the world’s best this season
All are great players, but the best overall forward linked to Real Madrid is RB Leipzig’s Christopher Nkunku. The man who recently came off the bench to assist Karim Benzema in the UEFA Nations League was the Bundesliga Player of the Season ahead of Robert Lewandowski. And astute Bundesliga observers were elated to see Nkunku won it over the more known player.
Nkunku carried Leipzig to a top-four finish after a nightmare start to the season under Jesse Marsh. He was decisive in his leadership and quality in the DFB Pokal Final, delivering the club its first trophy.
Just 24 years old, Nkunku is already one of the best players in the world, and if the Ballon d’Or weren’t such a popularity contest, the Frenchman would be a sure-fire top-five finisher in the 2021/22 season.
Nkunku is legitimately world-class at several different positions, including striker, left winger, right winger, and attacking midfielder. He regularly plays more than five different positions/roles for Leipzig. After being the table-setter for Timo Werner, Nkunku has now evolved from the primary playmaker to the primary goal-scorer. But one thing is common. He is Leipzig’s best player.
If Real Madrid want a young, versatile superstar who can excel in multiple different roles, Nkunku is worth breaking the bank for. Leipzig won’t want to sell such an important player to their club in terms of both quality and leadership, so they would drive a hard bargain. But Real have a lot of money, and it is true what they say. Quality over quantity. Nkunku is not a Galactic name like Mbappe or Erling Haaland, but he was near them in quality this season with 20 goals and 13 assists in the Bundesliga, as well as seven goals in the Champions League, four goals in the Europa League, and four goals in the DFB Pokal.
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The all-around statistics are incredible, but the way in which Nkunku takes on the responsibility as the leader and shines in the biggest games are the most appealing. He has the mentality needed to be a great player at Real Madrid, perhaps moreso than anyone else on the transfer market. Nkunku is not the most “realistic” option, because we know Perez will be very cautious. That said, some “risks” are worth taking. Sometimes, it is worth spending the money you have on quality. Nkunku has the most quality of anyone available, make no mistake there.