Timo Werner might be the goalscorer grabbing most of the headlines at RB Leipzig, but Yussuf Poulsen is starting to snatch more for himself as an integral figure at the Bundesliga club.
bundesliga.com takes a closer look at the forward who's accompanied Die Roten Bullen all the way from the third division to the Bundesliga and beyond.
Born: 15 June 1994 (25)
Club: RB Leipzig
Country: Denmark (39 caps, 6 goals)
Signed from Lyngby in his native Denmark back in 2013, Poulsen joined Leipzig when they were in the third tier of German football. He has since gone on to become the club’s record appearance holder (219 after 2018/19) and sits third on their all-time scoring chart (58), having upped the ante in 2018/19 with a personal best of 15, bettering the 11 and 10 he previously scored in Bundesliga 2 and the third division.
A bustler on the pitch, no Leipzig player contests more challenges per game (31.8), winning almost 45 per cent of them – an excellent return for a striker. In the air, the 6’3’’ Dane comes out on top in almost 50 per cent of duels and is no slouch in a footrace, reaching a top speed of 21.2 mph in the Bundesliga.
Watch: "I owe Leipzig everything" - Poulsen
Plays a bit like: Karim Benzema
A player who puts himself about on the pitch, he combines his physical strength with movement to find room to offer himself for a pass, and at the same time open up the space for his fellow striker to run into with the defence preoccupied.
Just like the Real Madrid forward, Poulsen is also not afraid to take aim himself and unleash venomous shots, while both are pretty useful in the air. He may not have always posted as impressive numbers as Werner, but similar to the way Benzema acts a decoy for the likes of Gareth Bale, among others, his importance to the team goes deeper than pure statistics.
Did you know?
A player who started out as a defender in his youth, Poulsen can be hard for the untrained eye to spot on the pitch. The reason is because he doesn’t always carry his surname on his kit. For previous clubs and national team Denmark, he's worn the name 'Yurary' in honour of his late father, who lost his battle with cancer when Yussuf was only six. Leipzig are actually the exception to this because, as Poulsen explained, "I asked for 'Yurary' when I signed but they told me they'd already printed the 'Poulsen' jerseys."
What they're saying
"It's great for me with him up front. We complement each other really well. He likes going for aerial challenges, which I don't. He's got an amazing set of lungs." – Timo Werner
"I've always had a high opinion of him, and he's continued to improve in every sense since he arrived here. It's a joy to work with him and to see how far he's progressed." – Ralf Rangnick, former Leipzig first-team coach and sporting director
"He's worked hard for where he's got, and improved constantly. He's got the lungs of a horse – Yussi runs like crazy, and he now has the goalscoring record to match his efforts." – Davie Selke, former RB Leipzig teammate