Austria international Junior Adamu will hope to fire Freiburg to another top-five finish. - © IMAGO/GEPA pictures
Austria international Junior Adamu will hope to fire Freiburg to another top-five finish. - © IMAGO/GEPA pictures

Junior Adamu: Who is Freiburg’s new Austrian attacker?


Freiburg have high hopes for Junior Adamu after his move from Austrian champions Salzburg. tells you all you need to know about the exciting young forward.

Stats correct as of 30 June 2023

Junior Adamu

Age: 22 (born 6 June 2001)
Club: Freiburg
Position: Striker
Country: Austria (6 caps) 

Key Stats

Adamu was born in Kano, Nigeria in 2001 but he moved with his family to the Austrian city of Graz in 2004. He joined Salzburg in his teens, and in the UEFA Youth League he played alongside the likes of Borussia Dortmund’s Karim Adeyemi and Leipzig pair Nicolas Seiwald and Dominik Szoboszlai. Freiburg’s new No. 20 made his professional debut in 2018 when he came on for Adeyemi during a game for Salzburg’s reserve team FC Liefering. 

Freiburg attacker Junior Adamu (c.) arrived in Germany after twice winning the Austrian league title with Salzburg. - IMAGO/Eibner Europa

The six-foot-tall attacker soon caught the eye at that level, and he scored 14 goals in 20 matches in the Austrian second tier in the 2019/20 season. The Austrian champions had more space in attack when Erling Haaland left for Dortmund that summer, and Adamu made his debut for Salzburg in November 2020. To continue his development he moved to Swiss side St. Gallen on loan in February 2021, and he found the net six times in 14 appearances in the Swiss Super League. 

Following his return to his parent club, Adamu scored seven goals in 30 league matches in 2021/22 and 10 in 28 games in 2022/23. The versatile attacker got his first UEFA Champions League goal in a 1-1 draw with Bayern Munich in February 2022, and he added another in a 2-1 loss against Chelsea the following season. Adamu struck 14 times in all competitions in 2022/23 to finish with a total of 23 goals in 84 games for Salzburg. Adamu earned his first cap for Austria against Israel in November 2021 before he moved to Freiburg in the summer of 2023. 

Plays a bit like: Nils Petersen

One of the reasons Freiburg needed a new forward was because club legend Nils Petersen retired at the age of 34. The former Germany international called time on his career after scoring 105 goals in 277 appearances across all competitions after making the switch to the Black Forest in 2015.

The former Bayern and Werder Bremen striker developed a reputation as a supersub over the years, getting a Bundesliga record 34 goals off the bench. Thirty of those came for Freiburg and - true to form - he got the last of them in a 2-0 win over Wolfsburg in his final game for the club.

Adamu is not exactly a like-for-like replacement for Freibrug’s record goalscorer in terms of style – the new man is quick so can operate out wide and also gets plenty of assists to go with his goals. But the youngster has a similar knack of making an impact off the bench. His first goal for Salzburg was a late winner after coming on against Admira in August 2021, while four of his 10 league goals and two of his three cup goals in 2022/23 came as a substitute. Adamu’s Champions League goal against Bayern was also as a (first-half) sub.

The Austrian will expect to start plenty of games at Freiburg but his opponents will be well aware that - even if he is not named in the starting XI by Christian Streich - he could swing the game in his team’s favour at any stage. Just like Petersen. 

Junior Adamu will hope to be as successful as retired Freiburg legend Nils Petersen. - IMAGO/Jöran Steinsiek

Did you know? 

Football was clearly a popular sport in the Adamu household. The Freiburg man’s younger sister is an Austria youth team international.

What they're saying

“Junior has gone far over the years in Salzburg with plenty of hard work and dedication, and he now goes to a big league as an Austrian international striker. I'm certain that he will succeed in the German Bundesliga too thanks to his way of doing things.” – Salzburg sporting director Christoph Freund

“Junior is a versatile attacking player who can play centrally but also off to the side. He plays with high intensity, has a good eye for goal and always works for the team.” – Freiburg board member Jochen Saier. 

“I want to continue to improve and establish myself in the Bundesliga. Freiburg is the right place for that.” – Junior Adamu