Christopher Nkunku


Manchester United's Transfer Targets For 2022

Manchester United didn’t expect to head into the January transfer window with a new coach in place, yet it does appear as though that need for change has actually reshuffled the club in a positive manner.

Ed Woodward is now nowhere to be seen, merely waiting to collect his retirement gift from the Glazer family, no longer ruling over footballing matters with an iron fist, despite having zero talent or qualification to do so.

John Murtough has stepped into the limelight, working closely with Ralf Rangnick since the German arrived.

And there now appears to be a cohesive approach to how Manchester United want to build their team.

The Red devil’s are looking to address their midfield problem first and foremost, but with other positions also in play, just who are the club’s targets in 2022?

Christopher Nkunku: Attacking midfielder, RB Leipzig

Christopher Nkunku is a player who is enjoying the greatest moment of his career at RB Leipzig.

Having fashioned a role for himself just behind the strikers in Leipzig’s team.

The Frenchman has added goals to his game and is impossible to deal with when making surging runs from deep.

Whilst a little similar to Bruno Fernandes in that regard, Nkunku’s ability to press is an added benefit and again his familiarity with the Rangnick system would only serve to ease his adaptation.

However, he would perhaps only be an option if Pogba and Martial were to leave in January, given the fact he essentially covers what both offer to a certain extent.

Amadou Haidara: Central midfielder, RB Leipzig

Initially linked with a move to Old Trafford when Rangnick was appointed,

Haidara would represent an instant upgrade on United’s current options, at least in terms to fitting into the German coach’s style.

Having played a central role in Red Bull Salzburg’s pursuit of the Mali midfielder in 2016.

Rangnick knows the midfielder well and he could operate as a positive foil for Fred.

Particularly in matches where United need to press high up the pitch for longer, with the Champions League in mind.

There are, though, concerns about Haidara’s performances with RB Leipzig this term, as well as the fact he would immediately be off to the AFCON with Mali.


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Declan Rice: Defensive midfielder, West Ham United

Declan Rice has been Manchester United’s primary midfield target for a year already.

Although it seems at this point that there will be no way for them to sign him without competition from Manchester City and Chelsea.

David Moyes spoke publicly about how the English midfielder’s value has risen even further after his exploits at Euro 2020 and in the Europa League with West Ham United.

He is the perfect holding midfielder and is excellent at cutting out danger and being all-action in both halves of the pitch, although it’s not clear if a naturally holding presence in midfield fits into Rangnick’s tactical blueprint.


Tariq Lamptey: Right-back, Brighton

One of the early conclusions of Rangnick’s first weeks in charge at Old Trafford has been that he doesn’t rate Aaron Wan-Bissaka as highly as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer did.

He has arrived and given immediate prominence to Diogo Dalot, who has impressed to a degree, but there may be a need for a more permanent solution at the position.

United persisted for years with Ashley Young and Antonio Valencia at full-back, despite the fact they were both hopeless in the role.

Yet, they probably went too far the other way in targeting Wan-Bissaka, who is primarily focused on defending, to the detriment of his attacking contributions.

Tariq Lamptey has impressed a lot whilst at Brighton, almost causing people to ask why on earth Chelsea let him go.

He is a balanced full-back who excels on either side of the ball and would also bring an added level of energy to a pressing team, as witnessed under Graham Potter at the Amex Stadium.

Haller Contests With  Lewandowski And Nkunku For Champions League Prize

The Cote d’Ivoire striker scored four goals against Sporting Lisbon on Wednesday.

Ajax forward Sebastien Haller has been shortlisted for the Champions League Player of the Week.

In his debut in the European competition, the Cote d’Ivoire international found the net on four occasions.

As the Dutch elite division side decimated hosts Sporting Lisbon 5-1 at the Estadio Jose Alvalade.

That saw him become the second player after Netherlands great Marco van Basten to score four times on a Champions League debut.


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Moreover, he became the first African to score at least four goals in a match in the tournament’s history.

He will compete with Bayern Munich star Robert Lewandowski, DR Congo prospect Christopher Nkunku and Borussia Dortmund youngster Jude Bellingham,

for the individual player accolade.

Lewandowski bagged a double as the German elite division side went to Camp Nou, saw and hammered Barcelona 3-0.

Bellingham on the other hand contributed a goal plus an assist to help Dortmund pick a 2-1 away triumph over Besiktas at Vodafone Park.

Despite RB Leipzig’s 6-3 defeat to Premier League side Manchester City, Nkunku found the net on three occasions at the Etihad Stadium.

The player with the highest number of votes will be crowned as the Champions League Player of the Week.

Africans Who Have Scored A Champions League Hat-trick

Yakubu Ayegbeni (Nigeria, Maccabi Haifa)

The former Nigeria striker became Africa’s first player to score a treble in the Champions League.

During his spell at Maccabi Haifa. Having suffered a 5-2 defeat to Manchester United in a Group F encounter.

The Israeli top-flight side bounced back with a 3-0 demolition of Olympiacos on,

September 24, 2002 in Nicosia.

It was a relatively unknown ‘Yak’ who got all the goals against the Greek top-flight side.

Didier Drogba (Cote d’Ivoire, Olympique Marseille)

Drogba joined Yakubu in the hallowed ranks of Africans to have found the net on three occasions on October 1, 2003.

The Cote d’Ivoire football icon hit a second-half treble to help Olympique Marseille see off Serbian side FK Partizan 3-0 inside Stade Velodrome.

Nonetheless, the Ligue 1 outfit failed to progress past the group stage that boasted FC Porto and Real Madrid.

He got his second hat-trick on September 27, 2006, in Chelsea’s 3-1 triumph over Levski Sofia in London.


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Samuel Eto’o (Cameroon, Barcelona)

En route to when Barcelona lifted the European crown for the second time in their history.

Thee Spanish top-flight side beat Panathinaikos 5-0 at Camp Nou during a Group C encounter on November 2, 2005.

Mark Van Bommel had handed Barca a first-minute lead.

Before, Eto’o doubled the Blaugrana’s advantage in the 14th minute.

Then Lionel Messi’s 34th-minute effort handed the Spaniards an unpassable lead.

While the Cameroonian star completed the obliteration in the 40th and 65th minutes respectively.

He scored his second hat-trick during his spell at Inter Milan.

As the Serie A outfit humbled Werder Bremen 4-0 on September 29, 2010.


Yacine Brahimi (Algeria, Porto)

Africa had to wait for four years before seeing one of its players join the hat-trick gang again.

This time, it was Brahimi who put up a commanding performance to propel Porto 6-0 past Bate Borisov on September 17, 2014.

Aside from the Algerian’s man-of-the-match performance,

Jackson Martinez, Adrian Lopez and Vincent Aboubakar completed the decimation at the Estadio do Dragao.


Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon, Borussia Dortmund)

During his spell at Borussia Dortmund, the Gabon superstar became the first African,

to net a treble in the competition’s knock out phase.

In the Round of 16 second leg fixture against Benfica on March 8, 2017.

Aubameyang contributed three goals before setting up Christian Pulisic in the 4-0 thrashing at Westfalenstadion, to progress 4-1 on aggregate.

Sadio Mane (Senegal, Liverpool)

The Senegal international scored a hat-trick as Liverpool marked their first Champions League knockout game,

for nine years with an emphatic victory, 5-0 at Porto’s Estadio do Dragao in their Champions League last-16 first-leg tie.

MohamedSalah and RobertoFirmino also found the net in the fixture played on February 14, 2018.


Christopher Nkunku (DR Congo, RB Leipzig)

The DR Congo prospect became the first RBLeipzig player to score a Champions League hat-trick.

Having found the net thrice in the Bundesliga side’s 6-3 defeat to ManchesterCikty on Wednesday night.

At the Etihad Stadium, the former France youth international beat goalkeeper Ederson Moraes on three occasions,

as Pep Guardiola’s men hit the German elite division side for six.


Sebastien Haller (Cote d’Ivoire, Ajax)

Haller not only turned in four goals in Ajax’s 5-1 decimation of Sporting CP.

Me matched Marco van Basten’s 29-year-old Champions League record,

as the second player to score four goals on his maiden appearance in the competition’s history.