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RB Leipzig forgoes last-minute transfer

Leipzig's new signing Eljif Elmas (l) and Lois Openda stand in the stadium before the match / Photo: Jan Woitas/dpa
Leipzig's new signing Eljif Elmas (l) and Lois Openda stand in the stadium before the match / Photo: Jan Woitas/dpa

Eljif Elmas remains RB Leipzig's only new winter signing. Despite the sporting crisis, the management has confidence in the current squad.

After four games without a win, RB Leipzig do not want to panic and have decided not to make any new signings on the last day of the transfer window. Sporting director Rouven Schröder cited the return of long-injured defensive boss Willi Orban and Amadou Haidara, who is away at the Africa Cup, as two reasons. "We have confidence in the current squad and feel absolutely ready for the tasks ahead. That's why we decided not to sign another player," said the 48-year-old.

This leaves Eljif Elmas, who was bought for 23 million euros from SSC Napoli, as the only winter addition. On the other side, Emil Forsberg, Fabio Carvalho, Timo Werner and Ilaix Moriba left the club. Hugo Novoa and Angeliño were loaned out to other clubs after failing to get the playing time they wanted at their other loan clubs.

In sporting terms, Elmas has played a subordinate role so far. The North Macedonian still needs time to settle in and has made three brief appearances so far. Schröder did not go into the sporting relevance of Elmas, but the new signing has integrated well. "He feels completely at home. With him, we have gained an offensive all-rounder," said the sporting director.

Coach Marco Rose praised Elmas after his brief appearance in the 5-2 draw in Stuttgart. He had given the team what it had been missing in that game. However, it is very unlikely that Elmas will be in the starting eleven against Union Berlin on Sunday (17:30/DAZN). Dani Olmo and Xavi Simons are set for the two positions in attacking midfield.

It is possible that Elmas could take up a more defensive position in central midfield. However, after the training impressions of the week, there are many indications that the duo of Xaver Schlager and Kevin Kampl will be deployed there. Schröder expects an "unpleasant game. Union have very good width and quality in their squad."

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