As per a report by Sport BILD (via Sport Witness), RB Leipzig have set their sights on Chelsea crown jewels Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham, following not only their own youth-centric club policy but the general trend seen up and down the Bundesliga. It’s unclear if they’re targeting loans, as in the case of Ademola Lookman last season, or more permanent arrangements.
Mount, currently on loan at Derby County, and Abraham, currently on loan at Aston Villa, have been two of the best players in the Championship this season, and they surely need to be playing at a more challenging level next season. Whether that is to be at Chelsea or in yet another temporary assignment is the major question at this point, although Chelsea’s decision could largely depend the outcome of the FIFA appeals committee hearing set for 11th April regarding the two-window transfer ban.
Either way, these are most crucial decisions to get right for the Blues, especially if we are to stop wasting the resources of the club’s youth academy. While letting Mount or Abraham (or Reece James, for another standout example) leave on another loan (or sanctioning a sale with a buyback) may not be the worst move, that’s a very risky game to play these days with youth increasingly in demand around Europe — RB Leipzig were on the forefront of that movement, even.
Reece James and Mason Mount are among those who could return to Chelsea, as well as Tammy Abraham, who is wanted by Aston Villa for another season (Goal) pic.twitter.com/Ol2tlQfXpv— Simon Phillips (@SiPhillipsSport) April 3, 2019
In the last decade, there probably has not been a football club in Europe that has witnessed more exponential growth than Germany’s RB Leipzig. From being “founded” in 2009 (taking over a fifth-tier side, SSV Markranstädt) by a certain organization named Red Bull GmbH (the same energy drinks company who own Austria’s RB Salzburg as well and run a massive sports empire), to getting promoted in the 15-16 season, to subsequently challenging for the Bundesliga title in unbelievable fashion in their debut season only to come second to perennial winners, Bayern Munich, it has been quite a run. And yet, even as autumns came and autumns went in Saxony, the club stuck to their ethos of relying on youth.
Players like Timo Werner, Lukas Klostermann, Willi Orban, Yussuf Poulsen have become household names in Europe, and while Leipzig have managed to hold on to most of them (Naby Keita being a major exception), the club’s inability to replicate their breakthrough season’s success has left many of them pondering their future, with the eyes of Europe’s top clubs watching them closely. It’s hard to blame the players for wanting to move away in a league which, at best, can be described as a two-horse race. Chief amongst them is their talisman, Timo Werner, with reports claiming he has already agreed personal terms with Bayern Munich — a move to Bavaria is basically a rite of passage for the best German players.
And so, as RB Leipzig look not only to replace Werner, but strengthen their team as well, they have their eyes set on Mason Mount & Tammy Abraham. Not bad choices, to be sure, but hopefully not ones who are available either.