Red Bull Salzburg have been the talk of European football in 2019/20.
The Austrian side may not have qualified for the Champions League knockout rounds, but they stole everyone’s hearts with their brilliant performances against the likes of Liverpool and Napoli.
Erling Haaland was the main man amongst it all, with the Norwegian scoring goals for fun, including eight in just six European games.
Sixteen more came in just 14 Austrian Bundesliga games, with Salzburg currently unbeaten at the top of the table with 66 goals to their name – 25 more than any other team.
Jesse Marsch is creating something special at Salzburg and the American coach could perhaps have delivered more had the club not been forced to sell their best players over the past few years.
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Haaland is the latest in a long line of top players seeking pastures new, with the 19-year-old’s transfer to Borussia Dortmund announced a matter of days ago.
In fact, Salzburg’s XI if they didn’t sell their best players would be worth €386.5m – according to Transfermarkt – and it’s certainly a very exciting looking team.
GK – Peter Gulacsi, €12m (RB Leipzig)
Now one of the best goalkeepers in the Bundesliga, with the Hungarian kickstarting his career in Austria after his miserable stint with Liverpool.
RB – Stefan Lainer, €18m (Borussia Monchengladbach)
Part of a very exciting crop of young Austrian players. Lainer has been one of the key men in Monchengladbach’s impressive start to the 2019/20 season.
CB – Martin Hinteregger, €15m (Eintracht Frankfurt)
Another top Austrian prospect, with Hinteregger’s performances – including six goals in just 15 Bundesliga games – already attracting the attention of Europe’s elite.
CB – Dayot Upamecano – €50m (RB Leipzig)
Defensive prospects don’t come more exciting than the Frenchman. Arsenal have been heavily linked with the 21-year-old over the past 12 months.
LB – Maximilian Weber – €10m (RB Salzburg)
The only current Salzburg player to make the XI and the 21-year-old left-back will probably be snapped up sooner rather than later as well due to his own impressive performances.
CM – Naby Keita – €42m (Liverpool)
He’s finally making his mark at Liverpool and his journey began at Salzburg, before he joined RB Leipzig in 2016.
CM – Kevin Kampl – €22m (RB Leipzig)
One of the Bundesliga’s underrated stars and a key man in Julian Nagelsmann’s brilliant RB Leipzig side.
RM – Takumi Minamino – €12.5m (Liverpool)
Liverpool’s newest recruit has been on fire for Salzburg this season, scoring nine goals and assisting 11 more in just 22 games.
LM – Sadio Mane – €150m (Liverpool)
The main man, the don. Salzburg can proudly say that one of the best players in the world honed his skills with them!
ST – Munas Dabbur – €10m (Sevilla)
He might be struggling in Spain, but the Israeli striker was bloody brilliant for Salzburg. In his final two seasons, he scored 42 goals in the Austrian Bundesliga alone.
ST – Erling Haaland – €45m (Borussia Dortmund)
We know all about him and the teenage sensation will probably go on to become one of the best strikers in world football.
So like so many teams this decade, Salzburg have been decimated by having to offload their top stars.
But in a parallel universe somewhere, the Austrian side have kept hold of all of them and are on course to lift their third consecutive Champions League trophy…