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Who is RB Leipzig's new signing Matheus Cunha?

Thursday 28th June 2018

Red Bull Leipzig is fast becoming established in the Bundesliga. Finishing sixth recently further consolidated Die Bullen's status. They have performed above expectations since joining the top flight in 2015/16. 

During their second Bundesliga season, RB Leipzig finished as runners-up. Although dropping four places isn't a catastrophe, improvements are needed this summer. They've begun addressing the issue by signing teenager Matheus Cunha.  

Full name Matheus Santos Carneiro Da Cunha, his career started at Coritiba in Brazil. He later debuted for Swiss side FC Sion. Travelling halfway around the globe to play professionally was a big step for the young Brazilian. He adapted admirably.  

Predominantly a striker, Cunha can also perform as both a right-winger and number ten. His career got off to a good start at Sion, scoring 10 times in 31 appearances this season. He now embarks on a new journey.  

On Sunday, Leipzig snapped Cunha up on a four-year deal. The 19-year-old is not the only new arrival. Left-back Marcelo Saracchi joined from Argentina's River Plate two weeks ago. A fee of around £12 million was agreed for the Uruguayan. The other fresh face at the Red Bull Arena is right-back Nordi Mukiele. Aged the same as Saracchi, the 20-year-old joined from French outfit Montpellier last month for around £14 million. 

Signing youth is Leipzig's main priority. Considering the hefty fees spent on Cunha, Saracchi and Mukiele, all three will enjoy much game time next campaign.   

As proven last season, Cunha can score with both feet. Two-footed strikers are a rarity. He even netted a few headers, another attribute Leipzig looked at while scouting him. His versatility is an added bonus.

Cunha will compete for a starting role against players such as Bruma, Youssef Poulsen, Emil Forsberg and Timo Werner. Those four talents are prime examples of young prospects excelling at Leipzig.  

Cunha's potential means he's the next in line. Should he receive regular minutes, a call-up to Brazil is a possibility. First, though, his focus must be on impressing Leipzig's decision makers. After Ralph Hasentuttl's departure early this month, the manager's position is vacant for next season. Julian Nagelsmann will take the helm in 12 months' time.   

Cunha faces a massive step up. He will go from performing in front of only 14,500 fans at the Stade Tourbillon to the 43,000 capacity Red Bull Arena. In order to flourish, the Brazil-born attacker must adapt quickly to his new German surroundings.     

Can Cunha live up to his price tag, or will he struggle to find the net? Only time will tell. One thing is certain, though. He possesses the skill set to take the Bundesliga by storm. 

Die Bullen supporters will be excited about not only watching Cunha, also the other recently-signed young starlets. They must believe their side can push for Europe again next season. Bringing in quality youth means a bright future awaits Leipzig. 

Jamie Kynaston

For my sins, I'm a season ticket holder at Stoke City, I have been proud to watch them for over 20 years. I follow most of the UK leagues and the major European ones too, and I've been told that I talk way too much about football.


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