What do you get when you bring together a club with a trained eye for talent and a man who has forged a reputation out of unearthing some of the rawest gems in world football? That would be RB Leipzig's blueprint for sustained success.
With the likes of Naby Keita, Emil Forsberg, Yussuf Poulsen and Dayot Upamecano, Leipzig have provided a springboard to stardom for several lesser-known players in recent seasons and that trend seems set to continue – if not be enhanced – following their appointment of Paul Mitchell as their new head of recruitment and development.
The 36-year-old arrives with an impressive portfolio including names such as Dele All, Sadio Mane, Kieran Trippier and Toby Alderweireld, to name just a few of the now household names who were given their break thanks to the Englishman.
"We're delighted to have Paul here," said Leipzig's sporting director Ralf Rangnick, who can take credit for much of the impressive scouting and recruitment work carried out by Leipzig on their rise from the fifth tier of German football into the Champions League in eight years. "The results of his work at Southampton and Tottenham are very impressive. I'm confident that Paul will fit in very well here. I'm already looking forward to some exciting debates about potential new players."
Those debates are likely to be very productive, given the comparative views the pair share. Rangnick first dealt with Mitchell in 2014 when Mane passed from Red Bull Salzburg to Southampton – one of several astute signings he lined up while on England's south coast.