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Your guide to RB Leipzig’s transfer business

After a rather quiet transfer window in 2022/23 the 2023/24 summer transfer window has been anything but with plenty of outgoings and expensive incomings.

To start the transfer window, star forward Christopher Nkunku headed for Chelsea in a €60 million deal while the influential Dominik Szoboszlai left for Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool in a €70 million deal. To finish the trio of Premier League outgoings, Josko Gvardiol became the most expensive defender in history as he left for Manchester City for a hefty €90 million.

This has left RB Leipzig with a lot of money but also a huge rebuilding job as the players who have left were pivotal for the Die Roten Bullen in the 22/23 season. Add to this Konrad Laimer leaving for Bayern Munich on a free transfer and competing at the top of the Bundesliga suddenly looks very difficult.

However Marco Rose’s new recruits look well suited to the Red Bull strategy and could just give them the platform for another successful Bundesliga campaign in the forthcoming season.

Lois Openda (€38.50 million from Lens)

With 16 Bundesliga goals last season it was pivotal for Leipzig to replace Nkunku’s Bundeliga goal output and in Openda they have found a young forward who looks well suited to the fast paced German game.

Openda plays on the last man and is very fast so looks to link up with fellow forwards before running beyond the last man. A sharp shooter, the Belgium international hit an impressive 21 Ligue 1 goals last term as he inspired Lens to a second placed finish.

Although he is not the most physically imposing player it does not matter to him as he has the pace and trickery to easily get past his man marker. Having usually lined up as a lone striker it will be interesting to see how he manages playing with another striker in a 4-2-2-2.

Benjamin Sesko (€24 million from RB Salzburg)

To partner Openda at the fulcrum of Leipzig’s attack is the impressive Slovakian striker Sesko. Having been linked with a move to the Premier League a deal was announced last season for the striker to join the long list of players moving from Salzburg to Leipzig.

A more traditional striker than anyone at the club, he uses his large frame to bully defenders and his pace to then get past them. Having scored 18 goals last season he will look to continue his good goal scoring run.

A machine in front of goal due his confident finishing, he will be a constant threat for Bundesliga defences as he can hit the net from anywhere with real venom.

Christoph Baumgartner (€24 million from Hoffenheim)

Having been in the Bundesliga since 2019, the versatile Austrian midfielder has finally secured a move to a top club after years of dragging a poor Hoffenheim side up the table.

In Rose’s system it is most likely he will line up as one of the attacking midfielders which he has regularly done in his career. However he is also comfortable deeper in midfield or even as a false nine due to his technical ability and press resistance.

At a minimal fee they have someone who can help fill the creative and goal scoring void of Nkunku as well as adding a dynamic defensive presence as he is no slouch when it comes to harassing opponents further up the pitch.

Fabio Carvalho and Xavi Simons (Loan deals from Liverpool and PSG)

With one of the youngest squads already in the Bundesliga the club hierarchy decided to continue that trend with the smart loan captures of Carvalho and Simons.

Simons arrives after a superb breakout season for Eredivisie outfit PSV Eindhoven in which he scored 16 goals. His performances in Holland inspired PSG into activating their release clause for a bargain €6 million. He did not want to return to the French capital and sit on the bench though so a move to Leipzig was arranged.

Able to play up top or slightly deeper, Simons will add unpredictability and verve to a forward line that has lost some of it with the departure of Szoboszlai.

Coming in for different reasons is Carvalho from Liverpool. With only one goal last term it was time for the youngster to move on temporarily and prove he has what it takes to play at the highest level. A Rolls-Royce of a playmaker, he should be expected to drift across the midfield linking midfield and attack while also helping Leipzig deploy their pressing style.

Castello Lukeba (€30 million from Lyon)

To replace Gvardiol, Leipzig have spent only a third of the fee they received for the Croatian on Lyon centre back Lukeba. Just like Gvardiol, Lukeba prefers to line up on the left side of defence and has a real physical presence about him.

The Frenchman is a physical defender who likes to play on the front foot and win tackles and aerial duels which is something they will be missing with the loss of Gvardiol. He does however also have the hallmarks of a modern defender with his impressive ball progression and calmness on the ball.

This will allow Leipzig to continue in their playing style of winning the ball and then progressing the ball as quickly up field as possible through the defenders and midfielders. With no European experience yet it remains to be seen how he will perform in the Champions League.

El Chadille Bitshiabu (€15 million from PSG)

Arguably the most wildcard signing of the lot it will be fascinating to see how much game time Bitsshiabu gets as he has only made 15 senior appearances prior to his move to Leipzig.

There is no doubt he is a promising defender but to expect him to help replace Gvardiol would be unrealistic so it is believed by many that this is more of a long term deal for the German outfit who will aim to improve him as a player.

In his limited game time for PSG we could see that he has the physical qualities required in the senior game but lacks the ball ability at this moment in time. However if Leipzig's track record is anything to go by then he will be a star in the next couple of seasons.

Nicolas Seiwald (€20 million from RB Salzburg)

Last on the incomings list is central midfielder Seiwald. The Austrian international looks like the perfect replacement for Laimer due his control in possession, strong defensive numbers and also his ability to arrive late in the box and finish off chances.

A ball magnet in many ways, Seiwald likes to receive the ball from the defence and progress it as quickly as possible while also having a sense of control about himself. He will then move forward with the ball and act as a box-to-box in every sense of the way.

Having played the full 90 against Bayern Munich he looks like he will slot straight into Rose’s midfield which was not given if you had a glance over the squad.

Having just beat Bayern Munich 3-0 in a more than comfortable victory to lift the German Super Cup, Leipzig may just be the team to surprise a few in this Bundesliga season. Even with some of their best players moving on, these incomings prove that Leipzig are ready to invest in the squad for future successes.

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