RB Leipzig is a new club with massive ambition. Much to the chagrin of many fans, Leipzig has gone from nothing to a UEFA Champions League club in under a decade.
When we say nothing, we mean nothing. Leipzig didn’t exist until 2008, but massive investment has helped the new boys rocket to second place in the Bundesliga, 18 points clear of fifth place.
Forward Timo Werner got a lot of the headlines, but it’s hard to look past influential midfield duo Emil Forsberg and Naby Keita as the prime reasons for Leipzig’s success.
The 25-year-old Forsberg is a left-sided player, mostly in the midfield, while 22-year-old Keita is a menace who functions anywhere in the midfield.
Even those who’ve never seen Keita play will know his name from the transfer rumor mill, with Jurgen Klopp said to be a massive admirer of the Guinean. Keita posted eight goals and eight assists last season, and reportedly has a release clause of more than $60 million that will go into effect next summer.
So, naturally, many expected Leipzig to cash in on both players. But Forsberg has a contract through 2022 and Keita, 2020. Keita reportedly wants a move to Liverpool, and a report claimed the Leipzig president wouldn’t stand in his way.
But sporting director Ralf Rangnick, who used to manage the club, says the opposite.