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Thursday, July 18, 2024

Top 5 finds by Man United’s latest hire Christopher Vivell include three exciting forwards

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As it turns out, Man United were not done after securing Dan Ashworth to start working immediately.

First, there was Omar Berrada, then Jason Wilcox, and it was expected that Dan Ashworth would be the final piece of a new-look corporate structure under Ineos ownership.

However, it recently broke that United are set to appoint Christopher Vivell on an initial short-term basis to help with player ID and recruitment for this window.

  • READ: Who is Christopher Vivell? Everything you need to know

He comes in with vast experience in this domain and Vivell’s players scouted list is a who’s who of footballing superstars.

Here are the top five finds by United’s latest hire which should have the fans excited for the summer ahead-

Dayot Upamecano

A lot of Vivell’s success stories come from the time when he was at RB Salzburg and basically mapping out pathways for players going through their system.

Dayot Upamecano of FC Bayern München runs with the ball during the Bundesliga match between FC Bayern München and VfL Wolfsburg at Allianz Arena on...

Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

Upamecano was signed by Vivell for RB Salzburg FC Liefering, another club under the RB umbrella, where he flourished, eventually making the move to RB Leipzig.

The upward trajectory continued as he caught Bayern Munich’s eyes where he has gained first-choice status.

From being signed by FC Liefering in 2015/16 to eventually making more than 100 hundred appearances for RB Leipzig en route to a move to Bavaria, his developmental path is a bonafide success story for Vivell and Co. He’s not the only one though.

Benjamin Sesko

If Upamecano’s path was linear and kept trending upwards, Vivell’s handling of Sesko shows the ability to pivot when the growth curve isn’t linear.

Under Vivell, Sesko joined RB Salzburg in 2019 at the age of just 16 but it was clearly recognised by everyone involved that his game needed more polishing.

Leipzig's Slovenian forward #30 Benjamin Sesko celebrates scoring during the German first division Bundesliga football match between RB Leipzig and...

Photo by RONNY HARTMANN/AFP via Getty Images

He was sent on loan to FC Liefering for two years as he arrived in senior football in grand style, scoring 21 goals in 29 appearances in his second season there.

As expected, Salzburg recalled him, he hit the ground running after some early troubles and a move to Leipzig followed.

Rumours of his exit are already abound and Sesko has become an ideal case of mapping out a player’s development plan. A lot of credit goes to Vivell.

Karim Adeyemi

There are bigger names on this list, and the biggest one will be seen in a second, but Adeyemi is perhaps the biggest example of Vivell’s success in scouting.

Adeyemi arrived at RB Salzburg in 2018/19 for nearly £8 million from SpVgg Unterhaching, a third-division Bundesliga club.

Karim Adeyemi of Borussia Dortmund takes the ball past Thibaut Courtois of Real Madrid  during the UEFA Champions League 2023/24 Final match betwee...

Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images

Such a fee for a player from the third division was basically unheard of but the scouting system was about to add a huge success story.

He followed the Sesko path, joining FC Liefering for two seasons, and flourishing there, before returning to RB Salzburg.

So good was Adeyemi in Austria that he skipped the logical “next step” entirely, moving to Borussia Dortmund with RB Leipzig not in the picture.

He recently appeared in the Champions League final for them where his pace gave Real Madrid a few nightmares.

Nicolas Seiwald

Unlike others on this list, Vivell didn’t scout or discover Seiwald, as the player was already at the Salzburg academy by the time he arrived there.

However, this is a case of Vivell’s planning and mapping to bring along a player through the ranks, one which he didn’t sign.

Nicolas Seiwald of RB Leipzig controls the Ball during the Bundesliga match between TSG Hoffenheim and RB Leipzig at PreZero-Arena on May 3, 2024 i...

Photo by Harry Langer/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Seiwald had been with Salzburg’s academy since the age of eight (2009) before he was deemed ready for senior football in 2019 at Liefering.

Three years at Liefering followed by three more at RB Salzburg made him ready for RB Leipzig which he joined last summer.

A great first campaign already has him in the eyes of elite clubs in a case of player progression done right.

Erling Haaland

Who else could it really be? While Haaland’s success story is an obvious one for Vivell and the RB scouting network, it is perhaps the biggest endorsement of their operations.

That is because, unlike most players on this list, Haaland was already a known quantity, a wunderkind anointed, when he joined RB Salzburg.

Erling Haaland of FC Salzburg in action during the UEFA Champions League group E match between RB Salzburg and Liverpool FC at Red Bull Arena on De...

Photo by Koji Watanabe/Getty Images

Vivell and Co. sold their vision and map to him expertly which made Haaland choose them over other clubs vying for his signature.

So rapid was his growth that he skipped not one, but two steps of the “RB system” – Liefering loan and RB Leipzig.

He dominated at Salzburg in his only full season, prompting Borussia Dortmund to splash the cash on him. He has changed teams again since but never stopped scoring.

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