- RB Leipzig embarking on first-ever Bundesliga campaign.
- Saxon side finished second in Bundesliga 2 in 2015/16.
- Plethora of attacking talent at new coach Ralph Hasenhüttl's disposal.
Having finally achieved their long-stated ambition of promotion to Germany’s top flight, RB Leipzig and their collection of young and hungry talent are now planning their attack on the Bundesliga.
bundesliga.com takes a look at five Leipzig names to keep an eye out for in 2016/17…
Yussuf Poulsen - 22, striker
Surely one of the club’s best finds since their establishment in 2009, Yussuf Poulsen has simply gone from strength to strength since arriving in Saxony in 2013. The Copenhagen native has scored 29 league goals in 103 matches for Die Roten Bullen, including seven last season to help spearhead Leipzig’s promotion push. Quick, strong, an able finisher and a presence in the air, his adjustment to the tactical and technical challenges of the Bundesliga will be fascinating.
Davie Selke – 21, striker
Davie Selke’s name is not unknown to Bundesliga fans. The rangy striker netted nine league goals for SV Werder Bremen between 2013 and 2015 and continues to be prolific for Germany at youth level, having notched five in six appearances for the U-21s. Back in the top-flight after a somewhat controversial departure from Bremen, Selke will feel he has a point to prove in the upcoming campaign following his ten Bundesliga 2 goals in 2015/16.
Naby Keita – 21, midfielder
Guinea international midfielder Naby Keita certainly does not lack ambition – he said recently he hopes “to become Africa’s best player” – and his numbers in the Austrian Bundesliga suggest he could be one of the standout midfielders of the coming season. The 21-year-old netted 12 goals and laid on eight assists to help FC Salzburg win the league in 2015/16, and his energetic style make him a natural fit for German football. Expect to see a lot of Keita in the months to come.
Marcel Sabitzer – 22, winger/striker
Another player to have contributed greatly to Salzburg’s success up until 2015, Marcel Sabitzer crowned a fine Bundesliga 2 campaign (eight goals, five assists) with substitute appearances in all three of Austria’s group games at UEFA EURO 2016. Quick and powerful, he was used as a right winger in France but is equally capable of playing as a centre forward and his physique, playing style and hard-working approach resemble those of FC Bayern München’s Robert Lewandowski. He may not be as prolific as the Pole but Sabitzer certainly does have immense potential.
Willi Orban: 23, central defender
A cultured yet competitive centre-back, Orban joined RB Leipzig from 1. FC Kaiserslautern in 2015 having been at the Betzenberg club since the age of four. Years of coaching at one of Germany’s top academies have shaped him into a highly intelligent footballer and his first season in Leipzig (32 appearances, one goal) was a resounding success. He will now be itching to test his mettle against some of the best strikers in world football.