Castello Lukeba joins RB Leipzig as one of French football's brightest defensive prospects. - © Imago
Castello Lukeba joins RB Leipzig as one of French football's brightest defensive prospects. - © Imago

RB Leipzig sign French defender Castello Lukeba


RB Leipzig have completed the signing of 20-year-old French defender Castello Lukeba from Lyon.

Lukeba, who has enjoyed regular first-team football since debuting for Lyon in August 2021, has signed a five-year contract through to 2028.

"I was extremely keen on joining RB Leipzig and moving to the Bundesliga, so I’m really happy that the move is now complete," Lukeba told his new club's official website. "I’m excited by the training ground, the stadium, the city and, above all, the team with all the young players. As a result of all that, I knew that the move to Leipzig was absolutely the right one for me. I can’t wait to play football here," the defender added.  

Lukeba made 68 competitive appearances for Lyon, including 33 Ligue 1 starts last season. He was in the top 99th percentile for successful interceptions per game (2.26) and boasted a pass completion rate of 90.1 percent.

A France youth international, Lukeba also started every game as les Espoirs reached the quarter-finals of this summer's U21 Euros in Romania and Georgia.

"Castello Lukeba was our number one target for the centre-back position," Leipzig's managing director for sport, Max Eberl, explained. "We have been interested in Castello for a while now. His style of play will fit perfectly into our side and he will be a key part of our squad.

"Despite being just 20, he’s already developed a lot and is one of the most talented young defenders in Europe," Eberl continued. 

Lukeba (r.) helped Lyon beat a PSG team spearheaded by Lionel Messi (l.) 1-0 in May. - Imago

Leipzig have a reputation for elevating young French talent to the next level. The likes of Dayot Upamecano, Ibrahima Konate and Christopher Nkunku all enjoyed formative spells at the club, while Mohamed Simakan has blossomed into one of the Bundesliga's most reliable defenders after moving to the Red Bull Arena from Strasbourg in 2021, aged 21.