Having recently joined top prospects such as Erling Haaland (Borussia Dortmund), Dayot Upamecano (Bayern Munich), Dominik Szoboszlai, Naby Keita and Amadou Haidara (all from RB Leipzig) in the Bundesliga, as well as Patson Daka (Leicester) and Sadio Mane ( Southampton) to the Premier League, FC Salzburg’s talent rotation seems endless.
The Austrian club, which have a partnership under the Red Bull umbrella with German side Leipzig, have earned more than €430m from these outings since 2014-15, according to Transfer market. And if you consider Noah Okafor’s €11.2m move from FC Basel in 2020 to be their record-breaking inbound transfer, you can see how well the club is managed.
Salzburg are set to face German giants Bayern on Tuesday in the second leg of the Champions League Round of 16 (tied 1-1 on aggregate) and are drawing plenty of plaudits for their ability to develop such talented young players. In the current squad, Karim Adeyemi (20), Oumar Solet (22), Chukwubuike Adamu (20), Mohamed Camara (22) and the injured Sekou Koita (22) have already made their mark, but who are the following. emerge from one of the most notorious talent-producing clubs in European football?
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The former Philadelphia Union midfielder is getting better and better a year after his European adventure. At just 21, Aaronson is already one of the club’s best players and was particularly impressive in the 1-1 draw with Bayern. Already a fan favorite thanks to his enthusiastic nature, the USA international combines excellent technique with clever movement, often timing his late runs into the box to Frank Lampard-style perfection.
His last-minute goal against Rapid Vienna in September 2021 summed up Aaronson well: after defending a corner, he launched into a length-of-field sprint to head home Okafor’s counter-attack, which was proved to be the final kick of a power-hungry derby. It’s no wonder Premier League (notably Leeds United) and Bundesliga clubs have chosen the smart midfielder as their summer target.
Unfortunately, the Swiss international, who usually plays as a left winger or a central striker, is still out with the hamstring injury he picked up in the opener against Bayern. The Austrian side will miss their impact and, based on their performances over the past few months, there are clear signs that the club’s record signing is developing into a more reliable presence.
Initially renowned for his breathtaking pace, directness and acceleration – especially when space opens up towards the latter stages of matches – he has also added a sense of opportunism, as evidenced by his two clinical finishes close range in the 3-1 win. against Wolfsburg recently. Although Okafor has been disappointed at times with his first touch and his ability to spot the right pass when receiving the ball, he looks a more mature player and has improved his decision-making this campaign.
Luka Sucic, 19, attacking midfielder
Already a full Croatia international, Susic can look back on a year of progression, with appearances mostly on the bench, suggesting his breakthrough could be imminent. Despite being a multi-functional midfielder capable of playing in all of the midfield diamond roles, the technically gifted 19-year-old, 6ft 1in, has mostly featured on the right in a role narrow and wide who is both winger and number 8. .
His progressive movement, dribbling and range of varied but precise passing might see Susic settle into a more central role, or even as a deep playmaker (like his idol Luka Modric), but he is even more recognized for his offensive qualities. . With a good left foot, Susic is able to drift down the pitch to take on playmaking responsibilities or even test the goalkeeper from long range. The tactically astute teenager is also excellent off the ball and takes clever positions to help his teammates.
Rather inevitably, the 6ft 4in Slovenian international striker drew immediate comparisons to Haaland as he embarked on a scoring streak for Salzburg second team FC Liefering with 22 goals in 44 games in the Austrian second tier last season. But while Sesko is of a similar build to Haaland, he is right-footed and lacks the uncompromising determination (at least not yet), nor the extreme penetration pace of the Norway international.
That said, Sesko has plenty of other skills that could see him become an interesting No.9 at senior level: he has good balance, is difficult to kick the ball around, can find teammates well from knockdowns and kicks, is a developing finisher and also displays great footwork.
While the majority of young players attract attention for their quality on the ball, Seiwald stands out for his exceptional work ethic, timing and off-ball input. Primarily deployed on the left or as a No.6 in the midfield diamond, the Austria Under-21 international is among the hardest-working young midfielders in European top-flight football.
Not only is he passionate about his pressing responsibilities, but he also records an impressive 4.4 scavenges and five steals per game this season. Add 13 challenges and there is no doubt that Seiwald is extremely committed and a tough opponent to face. For all his efforts for the benefit of the team, the midfielder also progresses well with the ball at his feet – as seen against Wolfsburg in the Champions League where he found space in midfield and quickly got away with the ball before setting Adeyemi up for the opening goal.
Some other exciting FC Salzburg hopefuls:
Daouda Guindo, 19, left-back
Another graduate of the club’s academy in Mali, Guindo joined the first team after an excellent season with Liefering. Physically strong and with a developing understanding of the game, Guindo strikes a good balance between solid attacking skills – his left foot is as sensitive as can be – and a resolute defense. The favorite to succeed 36-year-old club legend Andreas Ulmer when he retires.
Kamil Piatkowski, 21, central defender
Signed from Polish club Racow this summer for around €5m, the centre-back hasn’t played much in the Champions League but has looked comfortable in the Austrian Bundesliga. Excellent in the air, decent on the ball and with good pace, he should have a bright future.
Ignace van der Brempt, 19, right-back
A €5m signing in January from Belgian side Club Brugge, Van der Brempt was already a full first-team player before joining Salzburg. Powerful, determined and competitive, the Belgian is no different to Salzburg’s first-choice right-back Rasmus Kristensen.
Maurits Kjaergaard, 18, attacking midfielder
A left-handed attacking midfielder who is easily recognized by his long and powerful gait. Although primarily renowned for his passing and playmaking abilities, Kjaergaard doesn’t hesitate to mix it up in midfield with a hard tackle, intense pressing or aerial duel. The Denmark Under-21 international could potentially replace Aaronson in the long term if he leaves.
Roko Simic, 18, centre-forward
The highly rated Croatia U21 centre-forward signed for €4m from NK Lokomotiva Zagreb last summer and could see more first-team minutes in the future. Simic, who played for five minutes against Wolfsburg in the Champions League, has some of the same attributes as Sesko: he’s a classic No.9 with a great work rate, strong in the air and strong finishing skills. He mainly played for Liefering this season where he scored 11 goals in 15 games.
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Brenden Aaronson, Benjamin Sesko, Noah Okafor ready for a big move? – News 24 | News in France and abroad