RB Leipzig duo and Chelsea targets Christopher Nkunku and Josko Gvardiol put in mixed performances in the second leg of the UEFA Europa League semi-final against Rangers.
Both players with their Leipzig teammates came into the contest with a 1-0 advantage earned in the first leg via ex-Man City full-back Angelino’s late strike in Germany. However, an inspired Rangers weren’t to be deterred as James Tavernier, Glen Kamara and John Lundstrum wrote their name into Gers folklore with their second leg strikes which sent Giovanni Van Bronckhorst’s side to Seville after his side won the second leg 3-1.
From a Chelsea perspective though, two of the Leipzig players, in particular, were under the watchful eye of supporters who wanted to do some more scouting on transfer targets ahead of this summer’s transfer window. Both Nkunku and Gvardiol have been reported to be of some interest to Marina Granovskaia and co who are looking to back Thomas Tuchel once the club takeover is completed.
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One of those players shone through more than the other will the more well known Nkunku arguably being Leipzig’s man of the match in the defeat at Ibrox. Guardiola’s cross from the left was volleyed home in the area by the Frenchman who has only enhanced his reputation ahead of the Blues potentially making a big-money swoop for a player held in high regard by Tuchel.
football.london understands Chelsea have watched Nkunku’s progress over the past couple of seasons and again recently and there is a long-term interest there. Still, no decision will be taken on a transfer for the French star until after the club’s takeover is completed.
Coming onto the Croatian defender and despite the assist for what could have been a monumental goal for the Bundesliga club, he, alongside the rest of the back four, couldn’t cope with the relentless nature of Rangers, and this was noted by many Chelsea fans who questioned the top class credentials of the rather unknown European prospect.
Here are some of the best reactions on social media to Gvardiol’s audition for a potential Chelsea role next season as their hunt for new defensive reinforcements has certainly ramped up in recent days with the Antonio Rudiger blow.
@433Garry demanded: ‘Sign either Fofana, Koulibaliy, or Kimpembe, no Gvardiol, no Kounde, bring in Colwill, and keep Chalobah. That’s how you improve this Chelsea team.’
@JohyanCruyff had a little more optimism: ‘Gvardiol seem quite good on the ball tbf, way he controls the ball, the speed & weight of pass, being progressive, seems good from what I’ve seen so far.’
@_JoelCFC joked: ‘Gvardiol just costed Leipzig a semi final btw… Think he passed the test to join Charity FC.’
@BrexitChels assessed: ‘Nkunku for sure, Gvardiol maybe, Angelino as Chilwell back up or competition once he gets back up to full speed.’
It’s not just Chelsea fans who are torn over this performance from Gvardiol, on the day Tottenham were linked, many Spurs fans are now unsure whether a Premier League move would suit the 20-year-old at this current moment.
@SpursD22 tweeted: ‘Gvardiol is a bit overrated I can’t lie, he’s not worth as much as Leipzig wants. Bastoni is super clear of him’
Finally, @Jzshthfc_ said: ‘Gvardiol gets named as our number 1 target and then he drops a stinker…’
Source by Football London