Next Erling Haaland? He wants to be the next Arjen Robben! Meet Karim Adeyemi - Inside Europe
After a starring performance for RB Salzburg in the Champions League Pete Sharland joins forces with Dennis Melzer of Eurosport Germany to take a look at Karim Adeyemi. Is he the next great star to come from the Salzburg scouting system? And if so where will he be taking his undeniable talent to in the future?
Next Haaland? He wants to be the next Robben! Meet Karim Adeyemi - Inside Europe
Sadio Mane, Kevin Kampl, Peter Gulacsi, Naby Keita, Dayot Upamecano, Konrad Laimer, Amadou Haidara, Valentino Lazaro, Stefan Lainer, Hannes Wolf, Takumi Minamino, Dominik Szoboszlai, Hee-Chan Hwang, Patson Daka and of course Erling Haaland.
The list of players who developed at RB Salzburg is exhaustive and a sign of just how good the club is when it comes to finding players and making them better.
The next player off the conveyor belt could be young German forward Karim Adeyemi, who like Haaland a couple of years ago, got the transfer rumour mill turning with a big performance in the Champions League. Adeyemi won an astonishing three penalties against Sevilla, less than two weeks after netting his first goal for Germany.
Reports across Europe have suggested that German giants Bayern Munich, who Adeyemi played for as a kid, are interested as well as the likes of Barcelona and Liverpool. In order to find out more about the rising star we got in touch with our colleague from Eurosport Germany, Dennis Melzer.
The departure from Bayern
Adeyemi was previously at Bayern and Melzer actually spoke to the youngster about his exit from the Bavarian giants whilst working for Goal Germany.
"At Bayern it quickly became clear that there was a precise plan. If you, as a player, stepped out of line or did not stick to this plan, you usually received little support," Adeyemi told Melzer about leaving Bayern.
Karim Adeyemi of RB Salzburg looks on during the UEFA Champions League group G match between Sevilla FC and RB Salzburg at Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan on September 14, 2021 in Seville, Spain.
Image credit: Getty Images
"I don't think the club is betting on players who have their own ideas how to attack. Ultimately, however, every club deals with this topic differently. I don't want to judge which way is the right way. After all, Bayern are an absolutely top club.
"It remains to be seen whether they [Bayern] felt I had a lack of discipline. I don't think that was the decisive factor. It just didn't fit with Bayern anymore. We didn't get along so well anymore. The relationship between my parents and the sports director at the time was no longer as it should be. But that's yesterday's news.
"Of course I was sad at first, but shortly afterwards I just continued playing football and decided to go back to my old club in Forstenried. After a tournament in which scouts from Unterhaching were present, they came up to me and wanted to sign me."
There were reports of ill-discipline which Adeyemi alluded to but there have been no suggestions since that of any sort of issues. By all accounts he is extremely professional.
Where to next?
Adeyemi scored seven goals last season in the Austrian Bundesliga and has opened up this campaign with a blistering six in seven.
There will be no move until January at least but Melzer believes that Adeyemi would be better placed staying in Salzburg until the end of the season.
Karim Adeyemi is set to be a furture star
Image credit: Getty Images
“In Germany, Sport Bild recently reported also that FC Bayern, FC Liverpool and FC Barcelona are interested in Adeyemi,” Melzer says.
“In the summer he was also linked with a move to RB Leipzig. From my point of view, the next step depends on how he develops at Salzburg this season.
“If things continue, an intermediate step could no longer be necessary from his point of view and the move to a very big club could take place soon.
“However, the past has shown that an intermediate step has often been very beneficial for Salzburg players: Haaland -> Dortmund, Upamecano -> Leipzig, Mané -> Southampton and so on.”
What about a potential return to Munich?
“He is not entirely averse to returning to Munich. Karim was born here and his parents are still working at his youth club Unterhaching.
“He also recently said that despite his previous history, he is not angry with FC Bayern. Accordingly, it is conceivable, but so far there is nothing concrete to report.”
New Haaland or new Robben?
So unsurprisingly comparisons are being made with Haaland, who had an explosive start to the season with Salzburg before making the move to Borussia Dortmund. Adeyemi probably isn’t quite at the same level Haaland was, but he’s not exactly far off. So what sort of player is he?
“Karim is a very fast and technically strong player,” Melzer says.
Image credit: Getty Images
“He is dangerous in front of goal, his role model has always been Arjen Robben, and his style is sometimes like the Dutchman.
“When we talk about his weaknesses: Karim can certainly still improve physically in order to be able to assert himself even better against his opponents, and there is still room for improvement in his defensive game as well.
Adeyemi has been used up front and out wide this season in Austria, so where does Melzer think he will do better in the future?
“Adeyemi's great advantage is his flexibility. When Salzburg plays with two strikers, he is very valuable because the entire game is not centered on him.
“When Salzburg play with only one striker, Karim can move onto the wings and benefit from his speed. It's hard to say which position he's better at. I would rather say: Karim is incredibly valuable on both.”
The final word Melzer has to say on Adeyemi is this.
Karim is very young and Salzburg is a club where young players can mature in peace. How soon he wants to move to a bigger club depends on his goals. One or the other year in Salzburg would certainly be good for him.
Wise words because not everyone can accelerate their growth like Haaland. Adeyemi is just 19. Take someone like Daka who was 22 when he made his big move. There’s no rush he can take his time in Austria. And even when he does move there’s nothing wrong with going to a slightly smaller club rather than one of Europe’s elite. Haaland has shown immense wisdom in making the right move for his career at the time. That sense is the only thing Adeyemi has to copy.