Kai Havertz has been unable to give Chelsea his all since joining from Bayer Leverkusen in 2020. Chelsea may face a repeat of the Kai Havertz situation after reportedly signing Christopher Nkunku as Graham Potter’s first signing. The Frenchman is set to join from RB Leipzig, but he, like the Blues’ No. 29, is capable of playing across the frontline without settling into a preferred position.
Nkunku first became a target for some of Europe’s top clubs after a string of impressive performances for RB Leipzig, where he scored 64 goals and provided 51 assists in 159 appearances over a three-year period.
Chelsea, on the other hand, appears to have won the race for his services. For some time, the Blues have been heavily linked with a move for Nkunku, with reports in September claiming he had already completed a secret medical. According to Caught Offside, the Blues have completed a deal for him, making him Potter’s first signing since his arrival at Stamford Bridge.
The 25-year-old will begin his tenure in the summer rather than January. However, given Nkunku’s lack of a preferred position, he may struggle to find a place for him in his squad, something that has already held Havertz back at Chelsea.
The German joined the Blues from Bayer Leverkusen in 2020 but has struggled to establish himself in a blue shirt. The winning goal in the 2021 Champions League final was a huge highlight of his time at the club, but 27 goals in 112 appearances suggests he hasn’t been able to do it consistently.
One of his major issues is that he has been unable to find a suitable position within the team’s system. So far, he has played as a striker, an attacking midfielder, and on both wings in 3-4-3 and 4-3-3 formations, with no position seeming to bring out the best in his unique skill set.
Nkunku might end up in the same situation. During his time at the Red Bull Arena, the French international has played as a No. 9, No. 10, and winger, having previously played as a No. 9 for PSG.
There’s no doubt Potter will have a fantastic player on his hands if Nkunku arrives as expected, but he’ll have a headache deciding where to put him. Given the level of competition for Champions League places in the Premier League at the moment, Chelsea cannot afford for the versatile forward to have the same stop-start career as Havertz.