Marcel Sabitzer has developed into a key performer for both RB Leipzig and Austria. - © DFL / Getty Images / Boris Streubel
Marcel Sabitzer has developed into a key performer for both RB Leipzig and Austria. - © DFL / Getty Images / Boris Streubel

Marcel Sabitzer: who is RB Leipzig and Austria's goalscoring midfield master?

He is the answer to RB Leipzig coach Julian Nagelsmann's demand for more goals from midfield, but what makes Austria international midfielder Marcel Sabitzer one of the Bundesliga's best all-round performers? turns the spotlight on the Leipzig man who has been just as important to Die Roten Bullen's cause this season as top scorer Timo Werner.

Marcel Sabitzer

Age: 25
Club: RB Leipzig
Position: Midfielder
Country: Austria (41 caps/7 goals)

Key stats

"Last season, I was missing a little bit of calmness in front of goal. I've got that back," said Sabitzer, who — with four Bundesliga goals in 11 appearances — has already equalled his 2018/19 tally. He hit the ground running having a hand in all four of Leipzig's strikes in their Matchday 1 romp over Union Berlin, and has not looked back. His brilliant strike in Leipzig's UEFA Champions League triumph against Zenit Saint Petersburg gave him the chance to show on the continental stage the talent that Leipzig and Bundesliga fans have seen flourish this season.

Adding goalscoring to his long list of qualities does not mean the 2017 Austrian Footballer of the Year has neglected the others, registering three assists, winning 52 per cent of his challenges, and completing 78 per cent of his passes to give boss Nagelsmann a master-of-all-trades in his midfield.

Watch: Marcel Sabitzer rains on Union Berlin's Matchday 1 parade

Plays a bit like: David Beckham

A goalscoring midfielder with killer set piece technique? Sabitzer is more than a little reminiscent of the former England captain, who made a career out of his remarkable swinging deliveries and long-range free-kicks.

He may be less of an out-and-out winger than the former Manchester United, Real Madrid and LA Galaxy star, but Sabitzer still shares his pinpoint accuracy from distance, as Werder Bremen found out when he netted a stunning free-kick on Matchday 5. The Austrian also scored from outside of the area against Hertha Berlin on Matchday 11, and demonstrated his versatility by lashing in with his left foot in the Matchday 1 thrashing of Union Berlin.

Marcel Sabitzer (r.) has put a smile on the face of everyone connected to RB Leipzig this season. - 2019 DFL

His glorious effort against Zenit also showed that there is something of a showman in Sabitzer, who is starting to rack up a serious highlights reel. That Bremen free-kick was the fourth of his career and his third in Germany, after superb efforts against Stuttgart and Bayer Leverkusen earlier in 2019. If you're keen to find someone in the Bundesliga who can truly bend it like Beckham, look no further…

Did you know?

Sabitzer's father, Herfried, was a striker for the Austrian national team, and played for Austria Salzburg — now Red Bull Salzburg, for whom his son also played — and Grazer AK.

What they're saying

"I have always said I want more goal threat from midfield. He clearly took that both literally and personally. He's a very important player for us." - Julian Nagelsmann, RB Leipzig coach

He has great shooting technique. I've no where he gets it from, but he's always got it ready to go. Today it was really important because it was the winning goal, and an unbelievably good one at that. I'm happy for him." - RB Leipzig captain Willi Orban after Sabitzer's world-class strike at Zenit

"Marcel is a player who gives everything for 90 minutes, does a lot for the team and works a lot defensively.  He runs a lot, has some good technical moments, and is now scoring goals." - Franco Foda, Austria coach