New RB Leipzig head coach Jesse Marsch believes his side have “probably the most strength in depth in the Bundesliga” ahead of the imminent start of the 2021/22 season.
He has taken the reins of a side brimming with talent, including Dani Olmo, Emil Forsberg and Marcel Sabitzer, and new signings Andre Silva, Brian Brobbey, Mohamed Simakan and Josko Gvardiol mean Leipzig are well placed as they look to push on from finishing as Bundesliga runners-up to Bayern Munich in 2020/21.
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“The players have tremendous potential,” Marsch told rblive.com. “I think we probably have the most strength in depth in the league. Theoretically, we could send out two Bundesliga teams. If we’re able to fully unlock that potential, we can have a lot of fun together.”
In particular the arrival of Silva, who finished as second top scorer last term with 28 goals for Eintracht Frankfurt, should help bolster what was just the Bundesliga’s sixth most prolific attack in 2020/21 with 60 goals (compared to Bayern’s 99 and Borussia Dortmund’s 75).
Alongside Brobbey, Alexander Sörloth, Yussuf Pousen and Hee-chan Hwang, Marsch has five strikers at his disposal. But it is a welcome selection headache for the 47-year-old American.
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“Four strikers would be good to have cover in every position,” he said. “But I think we’ll find a solution. All of my strikers need to know that it’s not just about scoring goals but that up front we need a lot of power and mentality in our counter-pressing so that we can put opposition defenders under pressure.
“You can give it your all for 60 or 70 minutes and then the next player can come on. Especially now that we can make five substitutions, we’ll need everyone and everyone will get their chance.”
Marsch also hinted that while he is not planning on making large structural changes to the way Leipzig played under his predecessor Julian Nagelsmann, he does have some tweaks in mind.
“The players I’ve spoken to have said that the intensity could be higher when we’re not in possession, even for the quick, direct counter-attacks that we normally have. A lot of players have been playing that way for years and believe in it.”
That will be put to the test in Leipzig’s first competitive game of the season, away to Sandhausen in the first round of the DFB Cup on Saturday 7 August, before they begin their Bundesliga campaign away to Mainz a week later.