If there was ever any doubt about how valuable the Red Bull group could be to football, there can be little doubt today. The major Red Bull clubs in Europe – Salzburg and Leipzig – have grown to be regular competitors at the end of the European football calendar. Salzburg have been to the semi-finals of the UEFA Europa League, as have Leipzig. Both sides are also known as being a farm for incredible talent, with the likes of Naby Keita, Timo Werner and Erling Haaland just three very high profile examples.
The next name on the production line, though, is another player from a background most wouldn’t have researched. Salzburg in particular have become famed for finding talent in Africa, especially in nations not often seen as football hotbeds. This has led to some very intriguing signings, with the most interesting of the moment being Patson Daka. So much so that the striker is being linked with a move to England or Germany in the summer.
Daka is a Zambian international of incredible quality and has scored more than a goal per game in the Austrian Bundesliga this year along with some fine European performances. His quality would be hard to deny to even the most sceptical of scouts, and the fact he could be available for around £17m makes him even more intriguing to teams.
Indeed, Zaka was heavily linked with a move to England in January, when West Ham United were believed to have pushed for a deal. Nothing took place, and many players might have seen their chance of a move dashed. Daka, though, to his credit, has simply carried on scoring with consistency and quality.
Where will Patson Daka wind up?
The ‘smart money’ suggests England due to the number of teams in the country who are searching for a young striker to build around. West Ham have been mentioned, as have Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur. Other clubs, including Manchester United and Liverpool, are also known to have been keeping a rough eye on the striker.
He is comfortably the top scorer in the league, and while not making the same kind of eye-catching impact in Europe as former Salzburg striker Haaland, has impressed at European level. He is known to be a two-footed finisher who can also be surprisingly decent in the air. Add in a rapid turn of pace, a killer instinct, and a desire to link-up with teammates, and Daka really is the ideal modern forward.
One name in Germany linked (outside of an obvious move to Leipzig) has been Borussia Dortmund. However, this would likely only take place if Haaland was to force a move through earlier than expected. Given Daka has impressed so much, it is unlikely he would move to any club that cannot offer him a shot at regular first-team football.
Having already sat on the bench for Haaland once, he likely won’t do so again. However, the striker will almost certainly be in-demand from teams in the UEFA Champions League – watch one video, and it’s very easy to see why.