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Dani Olmo: The man primed to lead RB Leipzig to glory


While the footballing world was sent into a tailspin of tornado proportions by Harry Kane's debut for Bayern Munich, it was RB Leipzig star Dani Olmo who stole the headlines to clinch a DFB Supercup glory that hinted at big things to come from the Spaniard this season.

Olmo, a product of Barcelona's famed La Masia academy, joined Leipzig in January 2020 from Dinamo Zagreb as a 21-year-old with the world at his feet.

Leipzig beat off competition from some of Europe's biggest clubs to capture El Mago's signature and his first full campaign at the Red Bull Arena (2020/21) suggested the Catalan was worth the fuss.

Olmo chalked up nine league assists and five goals that season - plus single strikes in the DFB Cup and UEFA Champions League - as Leipzig finished second in the Bundesliga, reached the last-16 of Europe's premier club competition and were beaten in the German cup final by Borussia Dortmund.

Since then, Leipzig have claimed two successive DFB Cup crowns - the first major trophies in the club's history - and Olmo played significant roles in both, converting a penalty in the shootout victory over Freiburg in 2021/22 and contributing five goals (one goal, four assists) across the semi-final and final of 2022/23.

Watch: Olmo inspires Leipzig to 3-0 Supercup win - highlights

Olmo has, however, suffered a series of injuries which have seen the attacking midfielder miss 26 of his side's 64 top-flight matches over the course of the last two seasons.

That's a nudge over 40 percent of Leipzig's league games, with Olmo's absences only masked over by the incredible form in attack from the likes of Christopher Nkunku and Dominik Szoboszlai.

With that pair leaving for England this summer - so too centre-back Josko Gvardiol - now is the time for Olmo to take things by the scruff of the neck himself and, on evidence of his hat-trick heroics that secured the Supercup trophy, it appears the 25-year-old is ready to do just that.

His coach believes so too, with Marco Rose saying after the win over Bayern: "Dani Olmo is an outstanding footballer. It was a great performance by him and by the whole team too. The way he took the second goal was fantastic. The thing that impresses me even more though is how he drives the team on and helps the younger players."

On paper, it seems ludicrous to suggest Olmo is an elder statesman in the ranks, but this is a youthful Leipzig squad that goes into the 2023/24 campaign and Olmo is clearly relishing the added responsibility landing on his shoulders.

"I feel important. Last season we lost important players, like Domi, Christo, Koni (Konrad Laimer), Josko... but I think the players that came in are really good," said Olmo. "They have ambition to win and this is really important to us. This is just the beginning."

Beating Bayern was certainly a statement win and the promise shown by Rose's troops against the reigning record German champions has given Olmo plenty of reasons to suggest this Roten Bullen side can achieve great things together.

"There is no better way to start the season than with a win in Munich," explained Olmo, who described his 2023 Supercup performance as his best yet in a Leipzig shirt and now has his sites set on more silverware. "I just want to win, I want to play for everything... We have a young team with lots of potential and want to attack the league head on. We’ll have to see what we can achieve if we consistently perform well."

As the Spaniard put it after the game, victory over Bayern suggests exciting times ahead for Olmo and Leipzig. Should they pair consistency across all 34 Bundesliga matchdays, with the defence of their DFB Cup and a strong Champions League campaign, the sky's the limit for both the player and club.