Timo Werner, Emil Forsberg et al keep RB Leipzig′s opponents guessing | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 26.10.2017
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Timo Werner, Emil Forsberg et al keep RB Leipzig's opponents guessing

From moments of sublime skill to explosive counter attacks, Leipzig's front line is one of the Bundesliga’s most feared despite an average age of just 22. The rest of Europe is already taking note as well.

As Leipzig's stature in world football has grown, so too has the appreciation of their on-the-pitch exploits and the plethora of smartly sourced talent, especially in their front line.

While the club's success has been built on the foundation of a collective effort, talented individuals have produced plenty of must-see moments.  

Read more: Bayern Munich face double dose of Leipzig

Last season, two forwards stood out from the crowd as the city of Leipzig celebrated having a club back at the pinnacle of German football. Timo Werner, the highest-scoring German striker in the Bundesliga and Emil Forsberg, the leading assist provider in the top flight.

Forsberg, signed from Malmo while Leipzig were still in the second tier, is almost an elder statesman at the age of 26 compared to his teammates, while Werner is on the way to becoming the finished article since signing from Stuttgart.

Ralph Hasenhüttl and Timo Werner

Ralph Hasenhüttl has got the best out of Timo Werner

That's not to mention Marcel Sabitzer and Yussuf Poulsen, two regulars for their respective national teams, whose contributions last season caught less headlines, but were just as important in making Leipzig's debut season one for the history books.

Read more: Dortmund and RB Leipzig share both brilliance and flaws

Coming into the current campaign though, the key was ensuring that the rate of progression was maintained and the early signs are promising. "Last year we were all new in the league," Sabitzer told German mass-circulation daily Bild. "There were always new situations developing in which we didn't really know what was coming at us or how strong we really were. We’ve matured a lot."

Strong across the board

In light of their growing reputation and rising expectation levels, Leipzig were big winners in the summer transfer window for two reasons. They managed to add strength in depth ahead of competing on three fronts for the first time in the club's history, but perhaps more importantly, successfully avoided becoming another flash-in-the-pan selling club. Only Naby Keita was sold to Liverpool, but remains at Leipzig for the rest of the season.

With several rumors linking Forsberg with a number of different Premier League clubs and Real Madrid supposedly interested in star striker Werner, keeping hold of the irreplaceable duo was essential.

By further bolstering their attacking options with two valuable signings in Bruma and Jean-Kevin Augustin, Leipzig were able to add two dynamic players that were in keeping with the club's philosophy both on and off the pitch.

"We've made big strides forward in several areas in the last 10 months," club chairman Oliver Mintzlaff told German sports magazine kicker earlier this month. "The team have grown up a little and the level of competition in our squad has been raised by our new signings."

Leipzig fans

Leipzig'S success on the pitch has garnered a lot of support in the region

That level of competition has not only played its part in Leipzig sitting just behind Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich at the top of the table, but also in Bruma and Augustin hitting the ground running.

Sporting director Ralf Rangnick referred to Portuguese winger Bruma as "difficult to stop" following the impressive 3-2 win over Borussia Dortmund, while 20-year-old Augustin feels "me and RB, it works."

Signing the two rising stars to support the aforementioned quartet not only helps coach Ralph Hasenhüttl cope with the difficult balancing act of working with a more intense schedule, but also keeps opponents guessing when trying to solve Leipzig's turbo-charged puzzle.

The six rising stars have accounted for 20 of Leipzig’s 25 goals in all competitions so far this season and their contributions will be pivotal in the club maintaining their trajectory.

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