Runners-up in 2016/17 and sixth last season, Leipzig are starting to fire on all cylinders again. In the Bundesliga they are now second in both the table and the scoring charts behind Borussia Dortmund – netting 16 times in seven games. A 6-0 win over Nuremburg on Matchday 7 made it three league wins in a row – with 10 goals scored and just one conceded during that run.
Midfielder Kevin Kampl thinks that versatility in attack makes his side “dangerous”, and Leipzig have had seven different scorers in the Bundesliga, three in the DFB Cup and 11 in Europe. Five forwards in particular, however, are standing out from the crowd.
Yussuf Poulsen – 7 goals, 3 assists (in all competitions)
The powerful Denmark international is the joint-top goalscorer so far for Leipzig, netting four times in the Bundesliga, twice in the Europa League and once in the DFB Cup. That means he has already bettered his goal tally from last season, and he looks almost certain to beat his Bundesliga best of five from 2016/17.
Watch: Check out Poulsen's recent double against Hoffenheim
The 24-year-old has been with the club since they were in the third tier back in 2013, and his physical presence has proved a real handful for defences at every level. A selfless striker who is a real threat in the air, Poulsen is clearly maturing as a player off the back of helping his country to the last 16 of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. A first ever brace in German football – in the win at Hoffenheim on Matchday 6 – was further evidence of that.
Timo Werner - 4 goals, 1 assist
September Player of the Month nominee Werner has been a star for Leipzig ever since his move from Stuttgart in 2016. He scored 21 league goals to help them finish as runners-up to Bayern Munich a year after being promoted, and he was joint top scorer at the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup that Germany won in Russia.
In 2017/18 he hit the target 13 times in the Bundesliga as well as seven times in the UEFA Champions League and Europa League, and it looks like the 22-year-old will continue to post eye-catching numbers.
Having missed much of pre-season due to his involvement in the World Cup, Werner was a little slow to get going this time. By September, however, Rangnick noted that the attacker’s form had “definitely been going in the right direction”.
Watch: See why Werner got a Player of the Month nomination
Werner missed out on a hat-trick when his penalty against Nuremburg was saved, but a pair of braces in the Bundesliga already this season suggests that the Germany striker, rapid and clever in his movement, is getting back to his best.
Jean-Kevin Augustin - 7 goals, 1 assist
Like Poulsen, Augustin has scored in all three competitions that Leipzig are involved in this season. A swift frontman and a good finisher, he netted inside a minute in the opening-day defeat at Dortmund – Leipzig’s only league loss so far. With further goals against Fortuna Düsseldorf and Stuttgart, he is a third of the way to matching his total of nine in the Bundesliga last season.
The France under-21 international moved to Germany to get more first-team chances, and the ex-Paris Saint-Germain forward has generally made the most of them. Twelve goals in all competitions last term was an impressive return for a player who, like his club, was enjoying a first full season in the Champions League and the Europa League.
An added bonus is the 21-year-old’s tendency to make an impact from the bench – like when he scored to help Leipzig past Zorya in the Europa League play-off round.
Emil Forsberg – 3 goals, 2 assists
Forsberg has been finding his form again after starring at the World Cup in Russia, where he played a major role in getting Sweden to the quarter-finals.
The 26-year-old had a blistering first season in the Bundesliga back in 2016/17, finishing with eight goals and a whopping 19 assists. His best moments of the following campaign came in Europe – with Champions League group stage strikes against Monaco and Porto – but Forsberg has hit the ground running in 2018/19.
The former Malmo man is a vital creative outlet for Leipzig and has been on target in every competition this season – most notably when he scored the last-gasp penalty against Zorya that sent Rangnick’s men into the Europa League group stage.
Watch: Learn why Forsberg is Leipzig's quarterback
Matheus Cunha - 4 goals
Leipzig supporters probably knew little about Cunha, the Brazilian teenager who was just one of three summer signings along with full-backs Nordi Mukiele and Marcelo Saracchi.
The new man didn’t take long to announce his arrival, turning beautifully and finding the top corner on debut in a 4-0 Europa League qualifying success against Swedish side BK Hacken.
A haul of 10 goals in his first season in Europe – with midtable Swiss Super League side Sion – suggested he had potential, but the move was still a big step up for a player who only turned 19 at the end of May. However, Rangnick – who also doubles as sporting director – promised that Cunha was an “exciting striker, whose age, pace and attacking threat suit our philosophy very well.”
Watch: See how Cunha got on in Leipzig's Crazy Glasses challenge!
The Brazil U20 international has only made four substitute appearances in the Bundesliga so far, but he has had more time on the European stage to showcase his obvious talents. By mid-October, he had started all eight Europa League matches that Leipzig had played, adding to his three goals in the qualifying rounds with another in the group-stage victory over Rosenborg in Norway.