Benjamin Sesko is Slovenia’s in-demand striker linked with big transfers and ready to fire against England at Euro 2024 | football news

Slovenia has already had top-level footballers. Samir Handanovic and Jan Oblak come to mind. “But they were both goalkeepers,” says Matej Orazem sky sports. “Goalkeepers can be stars, but having a striker is completely different.”

Benjamin Sesko is that forward. The 21-year-old RB Leipzig player has attracted interest from the continent’s biggest clubs since he was a teenager and will lead the Slovenia team at Euro 2024. “I think he is destined for greatness,” adds Orazem. .

Orazem is the sporting director of NK Domzale, the Slovenian club that recruited Sesko to its academy when he was 15 years old. My first memories of him were rumors about a boy who lived nearby who had scored 50 goals in one season against much older players. .

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See all of Benjamin Sesko’s goals for RB Leipzig in the Bundesliga so far

“After that we were pretty quick. When the speculation started in the media and the bigger clubs looked at him, we already had an agreement. For anyone who went to see it, it was pretty obvious. It was practically a dunk on a very young man. “

Physically, Sesko stands out. He is now 6’5″ and was not much shorter then. It is said that he kicked basketballs from the hoop. With a top speed of 35.47 kilometers per hour, he is also one of the fastest players in the Bundesliga. true athlete.

“The physical aspect was the deciding factor. It was incredible. With some young talents, you want them to play with the older guys, but if they are not physically prepared then you are a little more cautious. With Beny, there were no doubts because of his physical presence.”

Sesko played with the under-19 team in Domzale when he was 16 years old. “The only thing we regret is not having also made him debut in the senior team.” The reason it didn’t happen is because shortly after, aged just 17, he left for Red Bull Salzburg, ready for the next step in his journey.

Orazem believes Domzale played his part. “We are proud of every moment he spent here. “I think it was very important. Our academy was the opportunity to be away from home in a familiar environment and begin to get used to the unknown.”

Sesko’s choice of the club was correct. There were more famous options, but together with his family and his agent Elvis Basanovic, the priority was the road. Salzburg could offer quality coaching but also a clear route to the top of the game.

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Benjamin Sesko’s new deal with RB Leipzig will include a ‘gentlemen’s agreement’

At first he had the opportunity to play senior football for FC Liefering in the second division. From there, joining Leipzig provided a natural progression towards the Bundesliga at a club where everything from tactics to culture would be more familiar.

It also helped that Salzburg was only 180 miles north of Domzale. “It wasn’t a big surprise. He got to see his family. It was a brilliant choice. There were options in Italy, Germany and England, but it was a really good deal for everyone,” Orazem says.

“Salzburg was crucial in his development. Although he was already a good player here, in Salzburg he learned a lot and progressed incredibly as a player and as a person. So far every move has been correct. Coming to Leipzig was not a big challenging step for him. “

Eighteen goals in his final season in Salzburg convinced Leipzig that Sesko was ready to take that step last summer. It started slowly. “He needed a little time, but he showed it to everyone in the second half of the season.” Sesko finished with another 18 goals in Germany.

RB Leipzig duo Lois Openda and Benjamin Sesko had two of the best goal percentages in the Bundesliga.
Benjamin Sesko had one of the best scoring percentages in the Bundesliga

In fact, only Harry Kane and Serhou Guirassy can boast better scoring rates in the Bundesliga. Leipzig’s counter-attacking style suited him, as many of his chances came after clearly bursting with pace, but he was also a big threat from set pieces.

Sesko’s abilities are rare. He instinctively wants to attack defenses from deep with his great speed, but he is also a player who has the physical ability of a target. Only Kane scored more headed goals in the competition. Plus, he knows how to play.

“It’s not just the physical aspect, it’s the technical aspect.” It is an irresistible combination for top clubs and helps explain why Sesko was heavily linked with Arsenal, among others, before agreeing to extend his contract with Leipzig.

Benjamin Sesko's heat map and shot map for RB Leipzig in his first season in the Bundesliga
Benjamin Sesko’s heat map and shot map in his first season in the Bundesliga

That seems sensible after just one season. There is plenty of time if you stay in shape and have been diligent in that regard. “He is very disciplined and that has avoided injuries that, especially for bigger players, can be problematic. They have handled it very well.”

At Domzale, his legacy is felt even if he never made a senior appearance for the club. “It’s hard to find the next Sesko, but he is inspiring the academy players, and not just them but the whole country right now. Everyone is amazed.”

There is also a practical impact on the lives of academy aspirants in Domzale. “Every time he is transferred we will receive solidarity contributions, which is of great importance for us as a football club and has helped build our academy,” adds Orazem.

“We had 20 beds, now we may have 28. We are developing our training camp with a second launch coming soon. That wouldn’t happen if we weren’t making money. There are other transfers, but yours was by far the biggest. Hopefully, It’ll be moving again soon!”

Before that, Sesko has the opportunity to elevate his reputation once again with a strong performance at Euro 2024. Orazem plans to be in Germany with his family, having missed Slovenia’s only previous appearance in the tournament 24 years ago.

“My parents said they would take me to the next one. The next one never came.” It’s here now. “We are very happy for him and for everyone in Slovenia. His quality now gives us a lot of hope. Maybe in the future there will be a possible World Cup.”

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We analyze the threat that Slovenian striker Benjamin Sesko poses to England

Sesko makes Slovenia dream. The country has Luka Doncic, the NBA basketball player. There is the cyclist Tadej Pogacar. With Sesko, whose father Ales had been a goalkeeper, it is different. He is someone capable of becoming one of the best forwards in the world.

“He will be successful wherever he goes. If he stays healthy, he will do incredible things. This is not the last we will hear about him, it is just a step along the way. There is much more to come. I think he will be a star we have not seen before in Slovenia”.

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