LEIPZIG: RB Leipzig's Amadou Haidara has been compared to Liverpool star Naby Keita after the 20-year-old Mali international signed a four-year contract with the Bundesliga club on Saturday.
Haidara, a central midfielder who has made six appearances for Mali, will move from Leipzig's sister club Red Bull Salzburg on January 1 after penning a deal until 2023.
He will inherited the No 8 shirt at Leipzig which Guinea international Keita, 23, also an ex-Salzburg player, vacated to join Liverpool last July.
Haidara has signed for an undisclosed fee, but has a market value of around 20 million euros ($22.8m).
"We are delighted to have signed Amadou. We've been following his progress in Salzburg, as he's grown into an absolutely exceptional talent there," said Leipzig coach Ralf Rangnick.
"There aren't too many players of his age who have so much potential and he has all the capabilities to follow in Naby Keita's footsteps.
"Of course, it's a shame that he won't be able to play for a bit due to injury, but we hope that he's back to full fitness soon, and will be able to play a part in the second half of the season."
Haidara, the 18th player to join Leipzig from Salzburg, is currently sidelined with a knee ligament injury and not expected to make his Bundesliga debut until well into 2019.
"I'm very pleased to have joined RB Leipzig, and of course, get the opportunity to play in the Bundesliga," he told the club's website.
"My priority now is to get back to full fitness as soon as possible.
"I'm on the right track but I still need time until I'm ready to play.
"I'm really motivated and can't wait to join up with the squad in Leipzig.
"Playing here will help me to further develop and also prove myself in the Bundesliga."
Leipzig sit fourth in the Bundesliga table after replacement Burma scored the late winner in Saturday's 3-2 win at home to Werder Bremen with the league's four-week winter break starting after this weekend's games.