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Nicolas Seiwald is joining RB Leipzig after spending 13 years at Red Bull Salzburg from U9 level. - © IMAGO/Igor Kralj/PIXSELL/IMAGO/Pixsell
Nicolas Seiwald is joining RB Leipzig after spending 13 years at Red Bull Salzburg from U9 level. - © IMAGO/Igor Kralj/PIXSELL/IMAGO/Pixsell
bundesliga

Nicolas Seiwald: Who is RB Leipzig's new silky midfielder from Salzburg?

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RB Leipzig have pounced to bring in Austria international Nicolas Seiwald from Red Bull Salzburg, with the midfielder moving to Germany's Red Bull Arena for the start of the 2023/24 season.

bundesliga.com has all you need to know about Leipzig's latest cross-border arrival...

Key stats

Seiwald is a living embodiment of the incredible youth development record at Red Bull Salzburg, which has seen the Austrian champions nurture a long list of Bundesliga stars of past and present like Erling Haaland, Sadio Mane, Dayot Upamecano, Karim Adeyemi, Marcel Sabitzer, Konrad Laimer and Dominik Szoboszlai. Seiwald, who hails from the idyllic mountain town of Kuchl, joined his local club Salzburg at U9 level - and progressed though every age group of the club's youth ranks.

The first sign that Seiwald might be destined for the big time came as he featured in the Salzburg team that made the semi-finals in the 2019/20 UEFA Youth League. He played in all 10 matches of the campaign, scoring and assisting in a 7-2 win against Napoli in the group stages, alongside a young Adeyemi. His first appearance for the Salzburg first team came in the following season, in November 2020 - the first of 15 league appearances that season, laying the foundations for his rapid rise to prominence since.

The 2021/22 season saw increased responsibilities for Seiwald under new Salzburg coach Matthias Jaissle. The then 20-year-old was entrusted with a start in all eight of the club's UEFA Champions League appearances as they made it through the group stage for the first time ever, before being knocked out by Bayern Munich. Having now played 14 times in the competition and scoring his first goal at the elite European level at Dinamo Zagreb in October 2022, Seiwald has demonstrated he has what it takes to slot in at a leading Bundesliga side like Leipzig - a reason the club granted him a contract running until 2028.

Plays a bit like: Konrad Laimer

Leipzig are known for their shrewd transfer planning, and with the contract of midfield lynchpin Laimer expiring this summer, they appear to have gained a ready-made replacement in his younger countryman (should Laimer leave the club). Just like Laimer, he learnt his trade amid the pressing-focused philosophy of Salzburg, and will get stuck into any midfield battle. Seiwald even has a similar size and stature to Laimer, and will gladly drop into defensive midfield when needed but is more comfortable in a central position where his intelligent bursts forward can help attacks - with nine assists to his name in the 2021/22 Austrian Bundesliga.

Nicolas Seiwald has represented Austria at U15, U17, U18, U19, U21 and full international level - IMAGO/GEPA pictures/ Michael Meindl/IMAGO/GEPA pictures

Seiwald's great talents have been no secret in Austria, and he made his first appearance for his national team in November 2021 against Israel. His services became a key part after former Leipzig supremo Ralf Rangnick took charge of the side in May 2022 - and Seiwald played all six matches in a UEFA Nations League campaign that year.

What they're saying

“He’s a Salzburg lad, and there's nothing better for us as a club to see players and people develop like Nici has, and that makes me very proud that he is ready to take the next step to a top club. He'll play a big part there right away, I think." - Red Bull Salzburg sporting director Christoph Freund

"I've known the boy for three or four years, and it was really obvious he will play abroad. He is an extraordinary player for his age." - Austrian national team coach Ralf Rangnick in June 2022

"We are extremely pleased to be able to welcome Nicolas Seiwald to Leipzig this summer. Nici is a tough-tackling, box-to-box player who has undergone a tremendous development in the last few years." - RB Leipzig sporting director Max Eberl