Paris SG - RB Leipzig

Europe: Champions League
Paris SG K. Mbappé (9), L. Messi (67), L. Messi (Pen. 74), X K. Mbappé (Pen. 90)
Parc des Princes3-2
RB Leipzig A. Silva (28), N. Mukiele (57)

Surging Nkunku prepares for another Parisian homecoming: "The atmosphere there is outstanding."

By Peter Vice

Christopher Nkunku is very much looking forward to a return to his old stomping ground on Tuesday evening. 

For the former PSG prodigy, it will already be the fourth time that he's faced his old youth club in the Champions' League. 

Christopher Nkunku.
Christopher Nkunku.Photo: GEPA Pictures/Roger Petzsche

About the only thing better than French midfielder Christopher Nkunku's league form this season (four goals, three assists) has been what he's been able to accomplish in the Champions' League. Despite the fact RB Leipzig have lost both of their UCL group stage games, Nkunku has scored four goals in the competition already. This included an almost forgotten hat trick in the 3-6 loss to Manchester City.

"Games there [at Parc des Princes] are something special," Nkunku told Oliver Hartmann of German footballing magazine Kicker, "especially the night games. The atmosphere is outstanding."

"Outstanding" may also be the best word to describe the 23-year-old's production numbers at the moment. He's already tallied nine times across all competitions, amassing 13 scorer points, and averaging a goal every 103 minutes.

Nkunku credited new RB trainer Jesse Marsch's tactics for his surge in form.

"In the new system, I have a bit more freedom and space," the player also told Hartmann, "I can definitely use that."

For one of the best performers of the Bundesliga campaign thus far, the trip to the French capital also serves as an audition for the French senior team national call up he still hasn't obtained.

The PSG homegrowns who move to the Bundesliga most assuredly remain on the FFF radar, but can sometimes curiously take a long time to earn their trial. Such was the case with Nkunku's former teammate Moussa Diaby of Bayer Leverkusen, who only just received a selection from Didier Deschamps after two years of German league football.

Irrespective of whether Nkunku gets his own chance soon, he is sure to feature as trainer Marsch considers him a crucial cog in his team. The American head coach even lives in a neighboring flat in the same building as his prime performer.

When speaking to Hartmann for the article, Marsch joked that his puppies and Nkunku's one-year-old son have been introduced and get along well.

Paris SG
1Keylor Navas
2Achraf Hakimi
5Marquinhos (C)
3Presnel Kimpembe
25Nuno Mendes
21Ander Herrera ↩61
27Idrissa Gueye ↩61
6Marco Verratti
30Lionel Messi
7Kylian Mbappé X
23Julian Draxler ↩90
50Gianluigi Donnarumma
60Alexandre Letellier
17Colin Dagba
20Layvin Kurzawa
22Abdou Diallo
24Thilo Kehrer ↪90
15Danilo Pereira ↪61
18Georginio Wijnaldum ↪61
28Eric Ebimbe
39Nathan Bitumazala
RB Leipzig
1Péter Gulácsi (C)
2Mohamed Simakan ↩83
4Willi Orban
16Lukas Klostermann ↩70
22Nordi Mukiele
27Konrad Laimer
14Tyler Adams
8Amadou Haidara ↩62
3Angeliño ↩83
18Christopher Nkunku
33André Silva ↩83
31Josep Martínez
9Yussuf Poulsen ↪83
10Emil Forsberg ↪83
32Joško Gvardiol ↪70
39Benjamin Henrichs ↪83
17Dominik Szoboszlai
26Moriba Kourouma Kourouma ↪62
44Kevin Kampl

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