After losing Erling Haaland and Takumi Minamino last season to Borussia Dortmund and Liverpool respectively, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the outlook back at RB Salzburg was pretty glum. An impressive Champions League showing caught many an eye last campaign but with the aforementioned departures, focus on the Austrian side soon dwindled again. However, despite this, the club still boasts a thoroughly impressive set of young prospects in their side.
One of those is Hungarian midfielder Dominik Szoboszlai. The 19-year-old joined from Austrian second division side Liefering and has thrived ever since, earning 8 caps and scoring his first international goal in the process. He boasts an impressive skillset and even at his young age, could be described as a set piece specialist – an asset for any side.
Szoboszlai usually operates on the left in a fairly attacking role but can also be considered as a reliable option playing more centrally too. His output has been excellent in the Austrian Bundesliga with 12 goals and 18 assists to his name in just 44 appearances. As his stats attest, Szoboszlai is a fantastic striker of the ball and is always a dead ball threat, as well as being lethal from outside the box if given a yard. He provides dynamism to a side laced with with speed and his ball carrying abilities are what often really stands out aside from his shooting. Szoboszlai is capable of dragging his team up the pitch with great determination whilst also possessing excellent control to be able to ride a few challenges on the way.Although obviously playing at a much lower standard, Szoboszlai’s style of play reminds me of Bruno Fernandes’ at Manchester United. He constantly looks to receive the ball and make things happen and this relentless desire to create, coupled with great technical ability would make him a thorn in many a European side. Szoboszlai remains in Austria for now but continues to gradually gain attention and would probably command a fee of £20m-£25m should a club come knocking, as many should soon enough.
Patson Daka is another star making headlines at RB Salzburg, most recently for an exceptional display that included 2 goals in a pre season friendly against Liverpool. The 21-year-old Zambian forward was fantastic against the Reds but has been looking like a real prospect for a while now, proven by Salzburg’s desire to tie him down until 2024 last December.
Daka has 27 league goals to his name at Salzburg and has also notched in the Champions League too, with a strike in last year’s group stage. When watching Daka, what really stands out is his directness. As soon as he gets the ball he looks to drive at the opposition defence before getting a shot off as soon as possible. He strikes me as a born goalscorer with his knack of popping up in the right positions for an opportunity, whilst also showing great awareness when attacking crosses. Daka is also blessed with an abundance of pace and is able to commit opposition players, either winning a foul or creating huge gaps as they dive in.
Daka is still quite a raw player but possesses a number of attributes that could mean he develops into an excellent forward for a top side. An exciting young player, he could probably be lured to another club for around £20m and would represent an excellent bit of business on the part of many clubs.
Finally, we have Karim Adeyemi, the youngest of the trio. Adeyemi is another forward at Salzburg but at just 18 years of age, is showing lots of promise early on. Barcelona, Liverpool and Arsenal are already said to have been sniffing around the German after he was released at a young age by none other than Bayern Munich.
Adeyemi is a very gifted player with a low centre of gravity, which enables him to wriggle out of tight spots and opponents’ pressure. Combined with his excellent dribbling and ball control, Adeyemi often twists and turns away from defenders before blazing away with his explosive pace.
The German regularly embarrasses the opposition, but more importantly, has the presence of mind and composure to provide the finish at the end of it. I think Adeyemi could do with a bit more first team football before he sets off for pastures new but he certainly looks a fantastic prospect that every Salzburg fan is excited to see.
There seems to be something in the water over in Austria as Salzburg are consistently producing quality young talent, something which should serve to benefit the Austrian National team in the future. As clubs look to up their game by building extensive scouting networks across the continent, they could do far worse than casting their gaze over to RB Salzburg for their next big star.
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