Having lost key players this summer, Max Eberl has been busy at RB Leipzig strengthening Marco Rose’s squad ahead of the new season. The latest acquisition is highly-rated French defender El Chadaille Bitshiabu from Paris St Germain and here we take a look at the 18-year-old.
Konrad Laimer, Dominik Szoboszlai and Christopher Nkunku have all left the Roten Bullen this summer and centre back Josko Gvardiol is being heavily linked with a move. Last season’s Pokal winners however are not resting on their laurels and look to be assembling a squad capable of competing at the top level again next season. The latest arrival at the Red Bull Arena is quite a coup with French teenager El Chadaille Bitshiabu arriving. Such is the esteem in which he is held, Leipzig have shelled out a reported €15 million for a player, who has made just 19 appearances for the Parisians.
El Chadaille Bitshiabu joined the PSG academy from Boulogne-Billancourt in 2017. He is widely considered to be one of the most talented centre backs of his generation in Europe and reinforced this by helping the France win the U-17 European Championships in 2022 (alongside Bayern Munich striker Mathys Tel). He made his first team debut for PSG in a 3–0 Coupe de France win over Feignies Aulnoye in December 2021 at the age of 16 years and 213 days, which made him the youngest player to appear in an official match for the club, breaking the previous record set by Kingsley Coman.
He made his Champions League debut last season at the Allianz Arena in the 2-0 defeat to Bayern. With Gvardiol widely expected to move to the Premier League this summer, Bitshiabu could be set to instantly step into the Croat’s place in the starting XI. Leipzig will be hoping that he enjoys a similar positive trajectory that Ibrahima Konaté had when he joined the club from PSG. Withing four years he was an established first-teamer and made a €40 million move to Liverpool.
In terms of style Bitshiabu is the typical modern defender combining strength with impeccable technique. He is a confident ball-playing centre back, who is also able to play as a left-sided centre back in a three-man defensive system or even as a left back in a four-man line if required. At 1,96m he is good in the air, has a powerful physique and is comfortable in the physical aspect of the game.
“El Chadaille is one of the most exciting young defenders in Europe and we’re proud that he now plays for RB Leipzig” explained sporting director Max Eberl. “Even though he just turned 18 in May, he’s already played 19 times for PSG’s first team at the top level and that just shows the kind of quality he possesses.
“El Chadaille is extremely quick, strong in the air, a tough tackler and good on the ball too. The fact that he’s also left footed means he perfectly fit the kind of player we wanted.
“Nevertheless, he’s a still really young and has moved to a new country and new club. El Chadaille will get the time he needs to settle in here so that he can slowly start to perform to his best and help us out on the pitch.”
The youngster himself will join his new team mates on Thursday when they travel to Austria for a pre-season training camp and can’t wait to get going. “I’m delighted to now be a part of RB Leipzig. The club has a great reputation in France, partly because of their on-the-pitch success, but also because young players can undergo an incredible development here at the highest level.
“Max Eberl and the management showed me the club’s unique and exciting path, which lured me in right away. I cannot wait to start getting ready for the new season together with the team.”