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Several Premier League sides were interested in signing Germany starlet Karim Adeyemi

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06 Sep 2021
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Germany

Manfred Schwabl says Chelsea were among the sides to send scouts to watch Adeyemi in action for fourth division side SpVgg Unterhaching.

Adeyemi ultimately opted to sign for Salzburg

Several Premier League sides were interested in signing Germany starlet Karim Adeyemi before joining Red Bull Salzburg three years ago, the president of his former club has confirmed. Manfred Schwabl says Chelsea were among the sides to send scouts to watch Adeyemi in action for fourth division side SpVgg Unterhaching. Despite that interest, Adeyemi ultimately opted to sign for Salzburg and developed into Germany’s rising stars, becoming the first German player born this millennium to score for the national side when he netted on his debut in Sunday’s World Cup qualifying win against Armenia. Adeyemi joined Unterhaching as a nine-year-old in 2012 after a deal to stay at Bayern Munich broke down. After progressing through the club’s youth sides, he then moved to Salzburg at the age of 16 in 2018, signing a three-year deal with the Austrian side.

When Karim was 16, some clubs from England wanted to sign him

Schwabl, who has followed Adeyemi’s career closely and is seen as something of a mentor figure, has now revealed there was interest from England, though he believes the move to Salzburg was the correct decision. “When he was 16, some clubs from England wanted to sign him. For example, some scouts from Chelsea came, but I don’t know if that would have worked out,” he told reporters. “The move to Salzburg was exactly right because it’s not too far away from his home in Munich. The closeness to his family is very important. He has a perfect and stable environment. “You should never take two steps at once. Salzburg is a good station for him, but also a club that doesn’t put any obstacles in the way of young players with suitable offers. If he continues like this, I would say it will be interesting from the spring.”

Schwabl sat alongside Adeyemi’s family at the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Stuttgart on Sunday to watch Adeyemi become the youngest German goalscorer since Mario Gotze in 2011. He takes great pride in the youngster’s development into an international player and admits it was an emotional moment when he saw him take to the pitch for the first time. “It was a goosebump moment to see the boy play in the Germany jersey,” he added. “His development lately is like a little fairy tale. We are very proud of Karim as a club. The goal was, of course, the crowning glory. I congratulated him afterwards, but also said: ‘Stay on the ground, boy!’ That is so important. He is only at the beginning of his career.”

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