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Simons and Openda Excelling as Replacements for Szoboszlai and Nkunku at Leipzig
- Updated: August 29, 2023
RB Leipzig’s Xavi Simons and Lois Openda are swiftly making their mark, instilling optimism among fans that the absence of Dominik Szoboszlai and Christopher Nkunku won’t be felt for long.
Leipzig’s Red Bull Arena has witnessed a flurry of activity this summer, with significant player movements.
Josko Gvardiol’s high-profile transfer to Manchester City stands out, but it’s the departures of Szoboszlai and Nkunku to Liverpool and Chelsea respectively that have raised concerns, considering their combined contribution of 34 goals last season. Szoboszlai typically operated from the right flank, while Nkunku took on a central role.
Stepping onto the field to fill these shoes are Simons and Openda. Simons, on loan from Paris Saint-Germain, and Openda, acquired permanently from Lens after a successful run in Ligue 1 with 21 goals, have made an immediate impact.
In Leipzig’s emphatic 5-1 victory over provisional league leaders VfB Stuttgart, Simons showcased his prowess with a goal and two assists. Meanwhile, Openda continued his Bundesliga success, netting his second goal in as many games.
Speaking about his approach, Simons emphasized, “I always give 100 per cent every game and want to win every game. Obviously, I like to score goals and get assists, and want to help the team to achieve our objectives,” as stated in his initial interview on Leipzig’s official website.
Early results have been promising for Simons and Openda. The young Dutch talent, at only 20 years old, has registered a goal or assist every 73 minutes he’s played for Leipzig so far. For Openda, the rate is one involvement every 109 minutes.
Simons and Openda’s swift integration and impactful performances offer Leipzig much-needed reassurance in the post-Szoboszlai and Nkunku era.
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By- Sahiba Suri