The Timo Werner-sized hole in the RB Leipzig attack has not been felt as hard as first feared and with Brian Brobbey joining from Ajax, a whole new dynamic will be brought to the Red Bull Arena for the years to come.
bundesliga.com has the lowdown on Leipzig's new striker who idolises Didier Drogba but resembles Timo Werner...
Club: RB Leipzig
Country: Netherlands (2 U19s caps/1 goal)/Ghana
Born in Amsterdam to Ghanaian parents, it was perhaps inevitable for a football-mad youngster with elder brothers who had trod the same path that Brobbey would pass through the Ajax youth academy, but what has followed since he first joined at the age of 11 has been nothing short of extraordinary.
Since first making his debut for Ajax's U17s, Brobbey has played 103 youth games for the club up to U21 level and scored a remarkable 84 goals. That record - including five strikes in eight UEFA Youth League outings - earned him a first-team call-up in October 2020, and Brobbey had a scoring debut to help Ajax to a 5-2 win over Fortuna Sittard.
Since then, the 5'9" forward has made 11 first-team appearances, scoring four goals and providing two assists. Brobbey has also made his mark on the European stage this season scoring on his UEFA Europa League debut against Lille in the last 32 in February, and adding another in the last 16 first leg win over Young Boys.
Brobbey has also made 37 youth international appearances for the Netherlands, scoring 26 goals in the process. He's yet to be called up for the senior Dutch national team with a decision for him to make as to whether he represents the Netherlands or Ghana at international level.
Plays a bit like: Timo Werner
When Timo Werner left Leipzig for Chelsea at the end of the 2019/20 season, Leipzig lost not only their top scorer but also a versatile attacking player which can provide a number difference-making attributes from several positions. Like Werner, Brobbey has blistering pace and is ice-cold in front of goal.
Despite his age, Brobbey has developed physically as well and his attributes are obvious when you watch him play. The Dutchman is very active in the penalty area, coupling poaching instincts and intelligent movement with a finishing ability that has seen him score goals at a frenzy. His versatility means he can play wide, just behind the striker or as the leading man in attack, the latter of which he has so far preferred.
Much like Julian Nagelsmann did with Werner in his final season at the Red Bull Arena - using the now Chelsea-man operating wider and wider as the season continued - the Leipzig coach could look to exploit Brobbey’s qualities in several positions across the attack.
Did you know?
It's fair to say that Brobbey is part of a footballing family. Brian is one of four brothers, all of whom are professional players. The new Leipzig man is the youngest brother while Samuel, 22, is currently without a club having most recently turned out for Almere City. Derrick Luckassen, 25, is a former Hertha Berlin defender now on loan in Turkey from parent club PSV Eindhoven. Kevin Luckassen is the eldest at 27 and also in Turkey playing for Kayserispor.
What they’re saying
"Leipzig is a great club and is again playing a great season. Julian Nagelsmann is a young and very good coach from whom I can still learn a lot. I'm really looking forward to the team and of course, I would like to do my part to ensure that the club continues to be so successful." - Brobbey himself
"As a young, very variable and assertive player, Brian Brobbey fits exactly into the profile of Leipzig. He recently showed at Ajax that he can keep up on an international level. Since Brian had some offers from other top European clubs, we’re delighted that he finally decided for us. We will have a lot of fun with him in the coming season." - Leipzig sporting director Markus Krösche
"He's a big talent, it's not easy to find a player in his position that are dangerous in front of goal. He's got pace, strong dribbling, plays well with his back to goal. He has a great work rate and does a lot for the team defensively. He’s cold in front of goal. He'll improve our squad." - Leipzig head coach Julian Nagelsmann