BREAKING: Erling Haaland and five other stars Chelsea’s new sporting director has developed
Christoph Freund has built up quite the reputation for finding and developing talent at Red Bull Salzburg in Austria – and he could be set to do the same as Chelsea’s new sporting director
Christoph Freund is set to land the role of Chelsea’s new sporting director – and he has quite the track record for finding and developing talent.
Blues owner Todd Boehly is reportedly a big fan of Red Bull’s model that has seen – in the words of their company – grow wings over the past decade. However, those wings are about to be clipped with the loss of Freund.
After his appointment in 2015, Red Bull Salzburg alumni have gone on to play in top leagues across Europe, and one precocious talent, in particular, can stake a claim to be the best in the world at the moment.
NAPLES, ITALY – NOVEMBER 05: Erling Braut Haaland of RB Salzburg celebrates after scoring the 0-1 goal during the UEFA Champions League group E match between SSC Napoli and RB Salzburg at Stadio San Paolo on November 05, 2019 in Naples, Italy.
Erling Haaland was unleashed on the world by Red Bull Salzburg
Erling Haaland has taken the Premier League by storm since his summer switch to Manchester City – nothing 14 times in nine appearances in all competitions.
Haaland burst onto the world stage while in the Alpine nation as he tore up the Champions League with the Red Bull logo slapped across his chest. Freund had spotted the striker while he was still at Molde in the Norwegian top flight.
Haaland joined on for just over £7million – one year later moved to Borussia Dortmund for £18million.
Patson Daka of Red Bull Salzburg celebrates after scoring on a goal during the tipico Bundesliga match between RB Salzburg and Rapid Wien at Red Bull Arena on May 12, 2021 in Salzburg, Austria.
Patson Daka had a record to rival Erling Haaland at Red Bull Salzburg
How do you replace one of the most clinical finishes to ever grace the beautiful game? You sign another one of course.
Okay, since his move to the Premier League with Leicester City, Patson Daka has hardly set the world alight like Haaland. But when in Salzburg, in his first full season without Haaland, Daka found the net 27 times in 28 games.
Signed from Zambian side Kafue Celtic FC for £225,000, Freund moved him on three years later for £27million to the Foxes.
Dayot Upamecano has progressed right through the Red Bull system
Dayot Upamecano could be the ultimate Red Bull success story – and poster boy for what the company wants as their football model.
As one of the first signings of the Freund era, the Austrian plucked 16-year-old Upamecano from Valenciennes, and he spent a season in the reserve side. But it wasn’t long before the Frenchman was in the first team – and putting European sides on notice.
Two years after Freund spent just under £2million on Upamecano he was on his way to RB Leipzig for £16.5million, and the Frenchman is now at Bayern Munich.
Karim Adeyemi of RB Salzburg controls the ball during the UEFA Champions League group G match between Lille OSC and RB Salzburg at Stade Pierre-Mauroy on November 23, 2021 in Lille, France.
Karim Adeyemi was discarded by Bayern Munich only to be turned into a superstar at Red Bull
Karim Adeyemi perhaps shows the biggest Freund took while at Red Bull Salzburg.
In 2019, Freund parted ways with £9million to sign SpVgg Unterhaching U19s – whose senior side are in the fourth tier of German football – star Adeyemi. The young German had spent time at Bayern Munich, but was dropped by the Bavarian giants.
Fast forward to July 2022, and after impressing in Austria, Borussia Dortmund signed Adeyemi to the tune of £27million.
Dominik Szoboszlai is perhaps Red Bull’s biggest star at the moment
Another youngster plucked from an unknown academy is Dominik Szoboszlai, who moved to Salzburg in 2016 from Fonix FC for £450,000.
This past summer, English football fans got a first-hand account of the tricky Hungarian as he danced his way around the English defence in the Nations League. Hungary battered England 4-0 at Wembley, and he helped himself to the only goal of the game at the Puskas Arena.
Szoboszlai, like Upamecano, graduated to RB Leipzig from Salzburg – Red Bull’s flagship side.
Brenden Aaronson of FC Red Bull Salzburg during the friendly match between FC Red Bull Salzburg and SKU Amstetten on January 14, 2022 in Salzburg, Austria.
Brenden Aaronson is Red Bull’s latest success story
Red Bull’s latest success story has already earned a host of admirers in Yorkshire as Brenden Aaronson moved to Leeds United.
Freund acquired the services of the ‘Medford Messi’ from Philadelphia Union in January 2021 to the tune of £11.4million. And 18 months later the American was on his way to West Yorkshire with Freund pocketing a pretty £29.5million for Salzburg.
Aaronson has quickly earned the favour of Leeds fans with a cheeky chant to the tune of Estelle’s ‘American Boy’.