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Why 25-year-old has decided to join Chelsea after ‘big effort’ to complete £53m transfer



(Photo by Maja Hitij/Getty Images)

Christopher Nkunku has explained why he decided to join Chelsea after his summer switch from RB Leipzig was finally announced.

The 25-year-old’s transfer to Stamford Bridge has been 10 months in the making, dating all the way back to last summer when work began to bring Nkunku to Chelsea.

Nkunku underwent a secret medical as Chelsea struck a pre-agreement to pay the Bundesliga side in excess of his £52.7 million release clause to win the race to bring him to the club for the 2023/24 season.

Following the conclusion of the 2022/23 campaign, which saw Nkunku score 16 league goals and finish at the Bundesliga’s joint-top goalscorer, and the international break, Chelsea made the long-awaited announcement of the France international’s arrival from July 1 on a six-year contract.

A club statement read: “Chelsea is delighted to announce Christopher Nkunku will join the club from RB Leipzig ahead of the 2023/24 season.”

Reports out of Spain suggested Real Madrid were keen on signing Nkunku to bolster their attack, which has lost Karim Benzema to Al-Ittihad, but Chelsea had already closed the deal.

Matt Law of the Daily Telegraph reports ‘the delight at securing Nkunku runs through Chelsea, with officials believing they have effectively landed three players in one in Nkunku’.

Chelsea’s proactiveness to land a big signing prior to a poor campaign, seeing them finish 12th in the Premier League, has handed them potentially one of the signings of the summer.

But why did Christopher Nkunku believe the switch to Chelsea was the right one?

In his first words upon signing for Chelsea and penning a deal until June 2029, Nkunku highlighted the ‘big effort’ that the Blues put in to secure his signature, sharing his excitement at the challenge of playing in the Premier League.

“I am incredibly happy to be joining Chelsea,” Nkunku told the official Chelsea website. “A big effort was made to bring me to the club and I am looking forward to meeting my new coach and teammates and showing the Chelsea supporters what I can do on the pitch. 

“Having played in Ligue 1 and the Bundesliga, I now want to play in the Premier League, one of the strongest leagues in the world. I am very excited for this challenge and will be proud to wear the Chelsea shirt.”