Strong in challenges, quick, comfortable playing out from the back, experience at the highest level of football and, most ideal of all, he is already acquainted with Bundesliga football – when, just a few days before the transfer window closed, RB Leipzig needed a short-term reinforcement for their defence, it quickly became clear what player fitted their criteria to the tee: Abou Diallo joined on a season-long loan from Paris Saint Germain.
In his three years with the French champions, Diallo made 75 competitive appearances for PSG, winning nine domestic titles (including league and cup doubles twice). He also reached the 2020 Champions League Final, where PSG were narrowly beaten by Bayern Munich 1-0.
An figure head for club and country
Abdou, who came through the ranks at AS Monaco, already played in the Bundesliga for two years before his stint in France: 2017/18 with FSV Mainz 05 and in 2018/19 with Borussia Dortmund. He was one of the first names on the team sheet at both clubs, a 1.87 metre defender upon whom his teammates could rely.
He is also an important part of the Senegal national team. In February 2022, he won the African Cup of Nations with Senegal, playing the full 90 minutes in all seven games. He scored to give Senegal a 1-0 lead in their 3-1 semi-final victory over Burkina Faso, and successfully converted his penalty in the final win against Egypt.
Abdou Diallo would already attest to the fact you can throw him in at the deep end if needs be. He has also shown in the colours of RBL that he is not a player who needs a lot of time to warm-up to the task. For example, Diallo played his part in the team keeping a clean sheet in the 3-0 win against his former club Borussia Dortmund. This was also the case in the Champions League against Real Madrid, where he put in a strong performance meaning that the current Champions League winners were kept to nil right up until the 80th minute, when their individual quality finally told and they scored twice.
“It is nice to be back in the Bundesliga. RB Leipzig has big ambitions and a lot of potential – a great challenge and an exciting season lie ahead of both me and us,” said Diallo when joining the club. He is expected to play an active role in the task facing the team. Rose’s team will have to contend with numerous double game weeks up until the winter break, which because of the World Cup in Qatar is as early as November, so it is good if there are players in the squad like Abdou Diallo for a period like this.
If there are enforced changes to the team in coming weeks, then a versatile defender like Diallo is worth his weight in gold. He can play in all three positions across a back-three as well as at left-back, meaning he has the potential to deputise for a number of teammates. “With the signing of Abdou Diallo, we are now well set up to deal with the many intensive weeks of multiple games across three competitions,” was the view of Florian Scholz, Leipzig’s commercial director for sport.