For the fourth season running, the Talent Radar Awards recognise the best individuals across Europe’s top leagues across seven primary categories.
[Eligibility: As of 1st June 2016 – 21 years old and below for outfield players // 22 years old and below for goalkeepers]
Entering the Bundesliga, life for Leipzig couldn’t have been easy. Widely labeled the most hated team in all of Germany, Leipzig made their Bundesliga bow this season, and what an entrance it was. The side stormed into second place leaving established giants like Dortmund, Schalke, and Leverkusen far behind.
Key to this astounding success has been their energetic team, driven by the irrepressible Naby Keita. The 22-year-old Guinean was initially brought into the side as a defensive midfielder, but his energy and ability to be a master of all trades meant that Ralph Hassenhutl got some added protection in defence and a boost in attack. The midfield dynamo is perhaps the most important player in this Leipzig side, controlling the tactics & tempo of a young side that more than found it’s feet in the top division.
He’s proven his versatility too, at times covering for the creative head Emil Forsberg when he was suspended (and did a fine job of that too). Keita will be crucial for Leipzig next season as they look to keep up their fine run, and contend with the pressures of European competition as well. The midfielder has been ever-present this season, and his consistency is the sort that will be very difficult to replicate.
OTHER TALENT RADAR ACCOLADES
MINI SCOUT REPORT
Keïta’s versatility to play in a range of central midfield and attacking midfield positions will be an asset to RB Leipzig. He can play in any of the three attacking midfield positions and although he may favour his right foot, he is certainly akin to using his left with relative ease.
At Leipzig, he will no longer be in a squad which is expected to dominate possession (unlike his previous club), however, with his fast passing and movement, a transition to a counter-attacking style of play should be incorporated into his overall game smoothly.
Read a full Scout Report on Keita here.
“Naby Keita combines aggressiveness and dynamism, which makes him the perfect embodiment of RB Leipzig’s style. His highlight reels consist of successful pressing and counter-pressing attacks, line-breaking dribbles and moments of incredibly smart tactical movement.”
“Leipzig’s fairytale debut season in the Bundesliga would never have been possible without Naby Keita. Quick to close down space and with seemingly endless stamina, the 22-year-old is rarely found more than 10 yards from the ball. Keita has a wonderful passing range and a creative flair that make him effective at all depths of the pitch. It’s no wonder he’s become one of the world’s most coveted talents.”
“Seeing Keita thrive in Leipzig didn’t come as a massive surprise following his teachings of a similar philosophy in Salzburg, but Keita has since become instrumental to the Bundesliga’s most controversial outfit. Becoming the latest name to be projected to stardom after slipping through the Ligue 1 net following Riyad Mahrez and N’Golo Kante, Keita energetic style of play has caught the eye of Bayern Munich and a string of Premier League clubs. Aged just 22-years-old, RB Leipzig would go well to find anybody of similar quality and style should they lose one of their most important assets to make their side tick, but with Champions League football on the horizon for the exciting project in eastern Germany, Ralf Rangnick can pray the Malian is the sentimental type.”
|2016-17||Player||Age (at the time)||Nationality||Club (at the time)||Current Club|
|1st||Naby Keita||22||Guinea||RB Leipzig||RB Leipzig|
|2nd||Dele Alli||21||England||Tottenham Hotspur||Tottenham Hotspur|
|3rd||Tiemoué Bakayoko||22||France||AS Monaco||AS Monaco|
|2015-16||Player||Age (at the time)||Nationality||Club (at the time)||Current Club|
|1st||Julian Weigl||20||Germany||Borussia Dortmund||Borussia Dortmund|
|2nd||Dele Alli||20||England||Tottenham Hotspur||Tottenham Hotspur|
|3rd||Kingsley Coman||19||France||Bayern Munich||Bayern Munich|
|2014-15||Player||Age (at the time)||Nationality||Club (at the time)||Current Club|
|2nd||Marco Verratti||22||Italy||Paris Saint-Germain||Paris Saint-Germain|
|3rd||Davy Klaassen||22||Netherlands||Ajax Amsterdam||Ajax Amsterdam|
|2013-14||Player||Age (at the time)||Nationality||Club (at the time)||Current Club|
|1st||Koke||22||Spain||Atletico Madrid||Atletico Madrid|
|3rd||Raheem Sterling||19||England||Liverpool||Manchester City|