20 Striker RB Leipzig Germany
Top scorer at the U19s European Championship in 2014, repeatedly called Germany’s best young striker and definitely the player everyone was talking about making it. Everything should be rosy, shouldn’t it?
2015 has been…
…short term pain, long term gain.
We’re going to get straight to the point here, Davie Selke is a really exciting young striker, has an awful lot more than just goals in him and has had a good year, but that’s not what people want to talk to you about when his name is mentioned.
Moving from Werder to RB Leipzig was always going to raise several questions that go beyond his football. Firstly, dropping out of the Bundesliga to the league below raised the first eyebrows. He was playing regularly (and scoring) at the highest level but you could frame the move as a chance for him to learn and grow. The issue is you can also frame it as a move for the money. Die Bullen didn’t exist six years ago, they have risen through the leagues on a wave of Red Bull’s investment and now they’re in the second tier with a bigger potential budget than any of their rivals. It is fairly obvious Selke took a step down in status for a step up in wages.
Secondly there are, of course, the moral issues around corporate clubs, clubs that are raised in the footprint of another but bear no relation to the original, and clubs that can throw enough money around to outgrow whatever circumstance they find themselves currently in. RB Leipzig tick all three boxes. Can we blame a young player for taking an opportunity like this? No. Do we have to like it? No.
The move has changed the mood around Selke but he has continued to ply his trade admirably. Just because we find it slightly distasteful that doesn’t make it so. He’s signed a 5-year contract as a mark of the potential they believe he holds, their inevitable promotion will give him the chance to silence the critics.
Tough one this, he’s now in a league where he can enjoy himself but he’s punching below his weight. He’s represented Germany at every available youth level, he’s already impressed at an international tournament, it’s widely accepted he is going to make it, but he’s now in the second tier at a very dislikable club. We want to put a positive spin on it but… well, we can’t.
So I think we’ll put a pin in this one and wait for the promotion to assess again. We’ll be clear, we have no issue with him taking the move for more money and what he feels are better prospects, but we don’t have to like it either.
C We really like Selke but this year is totally framed by the move that however well he plays is realistically a step down, let’s all wait till he’s back in the Bundesliga and talk again
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