After a second place in their Bundesliga debut season, 2017/18 saw Die Roten Bullen take a bit of a slip down to sixth spot. Their transfer policy remains consistent though, with calculated investment in future talent as opposed to hunting down big names and chasing reputations. Here we look at their top three summer signings.
Nordi Mukiele (HSC Montpellier, €16m)
Despite their reputation as the Bundesliga's moneybags, RB Leipzig have long had a policy of investing in future talent. One can look no further than Guinean international Naby Keïta, picked up from sister club RB Salzburg for 24 million Euro, and sold to Liverpool for just under three times that.
The Red Bulls' biggest signing of the summer is the relatively unknown defender Nordi Mukiele Mulere. Just twenty years of age, the Frenchman was a regular for Ligue Un outfit HSC Montpellier. Capable of playing in the centre of the defence or at right back, he had been a target for a number of leading French clubs.
Leipzig were pretty leaky at the back last season, and one of their missions was to tighten up the defence. French Under-21 star Mukiele looks like a dependable performer with a growing reputation, and could well turn into a bargain at just 16 million Euro.
Matheus Cunha (FC Sion, €15m)
Next up is Matheus Cunha, who has just turned nineteen. With just one senior season in the Swiss league under his belt with FC Sion, the young Brazilian winger is genuinely untested at the highest level.
Despite his inexperience, Cunha's signing fits perfectly into the Leipzig development philosophy. The club's scouts have done some fantastic work during their rise up to the top flight, and the Brazilian could prove to be yet another gem.
At 15 million Euro, it does look like a bit much for a 19 year old who has played just 29 matches in the Swiss league for a team that finished in sixth place. On the other hand, one could say that this makes his numbers even more impressive. In those 29 games, he scored ten goals and notched up eight assists.
Marcelo Saracchi (River Plate, €12m)
Leipzig's third signing of the summer is another 20 year old, and another relative unknown.
Two years ago, Uruguayan left-back Marcelo Saracchi was playing for local Montevideo side Danubio FC. In 2017, he moved across the border to join famous Argentinian outfit River Plate.
With just 19 senior matches for Los Millonarios, Saracchi is another player that fits the Leipzig purchasing philosophy. At 12 million Euro, it will surely be another case of overpriced youngster or shining future prospect for Ralf Rangnick's side.
One thing is clear, however. Leipzig's scouts are everywhere.
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