Karim Adeyemi has made a flying start to the season season for Red Bull Salzburg and has also scored his first senior international goal for Germany during the international break.
The 19-year-old has already been linked with Liverpool, Barcelona and Bayern Munich and is quickly gaining attention as one of the best emerging young talents in European football.
Here’s a look at everything you need to know about Adeyemi…
1. Latest jewel out of Salzburg
Red Bull Salzburg gave Erling Haaland the platform he needed to explode into life during the first half of the 2019/20 season, with the striker scoring eight times during that season’s Champions League group stage alone.
Adeyemi established himself in the first-team squad last season, scoring nine times in 38 appearances but starting relatively infrequently. In 2021/22 he has become a proper starter, despite his young age, and is repaying that faith already.
The youngster had scored six goals in six Austrian Bundesliga games by the time of the September international break, as well as one in the Champions League qualifying rounds.
Adeyemi has effectively replaced Patson Daka, who scored 34 goals last season, following the Zambian’s summer transfer from Salzburg to Leicester.
2. The next Mbappe
It would be easy to draw obvious comparisons with between Adeyemi and Haaland because of their prolific breakout at Salzburg. But they are different types of striker, with Adeyemi standing under six feet tall and relying more on raw speed and darting runs.
Instead of comparing himself to Haaland, an all-action ‘number nine’, Adeyemi prefers to model his game on goalscoring forwards that like to play from a wide starting point, including Kylian Mbappe.
He told Kicker earlier this year that ‘Mbappe, [Serge] Gnabry [and Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang’ are the role models that he particularly looks up to.
3. Ex-Bayern youngster
Bayern are one of the clubs thought to be tracking Adeyemi now, but the player has already had a two-year spell in Bavaria very early in his youth career.
Adeyemi was born in Munich and joined Bayern’s academy ranks at the age of 10, but a dispute with the club over a ‘lack of discipline’, led to the youngster joining SpVgg Unterhaching in 2012.
Staff at Unterhaching worked closely with Adeyemi both on and off the pitch and it was reported by Suddeutsche Zeiting in 2019 shortly after a €3m transfer to Salzburg that Red Bull had landed not only a top talent, but also a ‘stable personality’.
He hasn’t ruled out a Bayern return in the future, despite his exit as a youngster.
“You never know what the future will bring. I never said that I didn't like [Bayern] anymore because of my time there or anything,” he has previously told Kicker.
4. International debut
Born in Germany, Adeyemi has Romanian and Nigerian parentage and so was eligible for all three national teams. But it is Germany he has chosen, first representing his birth country at Under-16 level in 2018 and progressing through the ranks at Under-17 and Under-21 levels since.
Such has been his rapid rise, Adeyemi only made his Under-21 debut, playing in the latter stages of the 2021 Under-21 European Championship in May, four months before his senior international bow came in September in a World Cup qualifier.
His form for Salzburg at the start of 2021/22 saw senior Mannschaft coach Hansi Flick include the youngster in his squad for clashes against Liechtenstein, Armenia and Iceland. He didn’t get on the pitch against Liechtenstein but scored off the bench in a 6-0 thrashing of Armenia.
5. Price tag
Adeyemi is currently under contract at Salzburg for another three years until 2024, which gives the Austrian champions a solid foundation from which they can demand a sizeable transfer fee if they do decide to cash in sooner rather than later.
Bild has quoted that valuation at €20m (£17.2m), which is similar price to that which Haaland was sold to Dortmund for in January 2020.
6. Future potential
Adeyemi is already a big hit with Football Manager gamers and is widely expected to continue developing into a world class forward over the next few years.
His career mode potential in FIFA 21 is 85, but that could yet change and keep growing when FIFA 22 is soon released.
Source : 90min