In Focus: What Chelsea can expect from Nkunku as Leipzig exit nears
The last significant act of Christopher Nkunku's Bundesliga career was blowing the title race wide open.
While the Frenchman will regret that RB Leipzig were not in contention for top spot themselves this season, his penalty to put them in front at Bayern Munich last Saturday will at least be remembered for giving Borussia Dortmund a clear run at their first title in 11 years.
The 25-year-old will leave Germany this summer after backing up his 35-goal haul in the 2021-22 season with another 20 and counting this term, despite suffering from injuries.
With a Premier League move in the offing, we turn the spotlight on yet another product off the French talent conveyor belt.
Nkunku was widely reported to have agreed a pre-contract deal to join Chelsea this summer as part of a busy 12 months of transfer business for Blues owner Todd Boehly.
A £50million deal was said to have been shaken on at the back end of 2022, with Leipzig sporting director Max Eberl telling Bild: "The signs are very, very clear that he's moving to Chelsea."
No official confirmation has been forthcoming from either end, though, with fresh reports claiming that the West Londoners' failure to qualify for Europe next season has put doubt in the attacker's mind.
Real Madrid are said to be sniffing around and could seek to sign Nkunku as quality back-up for Karim Benzema, Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo — but a move to Stamford Bridge is still likely.
Nkunku ranks second for goals and fourth for assists across the last two Bundesliga seasons, a dual threat that no other player in the division can match.
And despite injuries meaning that this season has been less productive than last, his 14 league goals from 19 starts is still an impressive return.
Possessing strong physical and technical attributes, the manner in which the Paris Saint-Germain academy graduate causes danger is varied, too.
He sits in the top 11 for shots, dribbles completed and big chances created in the German top flight during that time period.
Such is the diversity in Nkunku's skillset that nailing him down to one specialist role is not straightforward.
The Leipzig hotshot has been used across Marco Rose's frontline this season, but believes he is at his best when given license to take as many touches as possible.
In a recent interview the eight-cap international said: "I think attacking midfield is a position that suits me well, close to the goal behind a striker.
"That describes me as a player nicely so I always like playing in this role."
Nkunku's form could easily have been rewarded with more appearances for Les Bleus than his tally to date.
The forward was selected in Didier Deschamps' World Cup squad before picking up an injury that ruled him out of the competition, while he is in a battle with several players of similar stature for a spot in the starting XI.
Signing for a higher-profile club may boost his chances of international selection.
Rivals Kylian Mbappe, Ousmane Dembele and Kingsley Coman play for PSG, Barcelona and Bayern Munich respectively, where they compete for league titles and play in the latter stages of the Champions League.