Leipzig's Augustin: 'Dembele raved about the Bundesliga!'
The highly-rated attacker has only been at Leipzig for a little over a month, but with the new Bundesliga season fast approaching, he has had to find his feet quickly in a new country, a new team, and a markedly new way of playing.
Speaking to German daily BILD, Augustin opened up on his first impressions of the club, his expectations for the season and a ringing endorsement of the Bundesliga from his friend and compatriot, Ousmane Dembele.
Watch: Augustin’s unveiling as a Leipzig player
Question: You made your first appearance in the Red Bull Arena in a friendly against Stoke City. How was it?
Jean-Kevin Augustin: At PSG there are a lot of stars and the quality is really high. We’re a young team here and want to show what we can do. One thing I’ve noticed is how warm the fans are. They’re all really nice and the training centre is better here than it is in Paris.
Question: Are you learning German?
Augustin: I speak English with my team-mates, but I already know the most important phrases out on the pitch in German. After ‘Guten Tag‘ [good morning], the most important word when you’re playing is ‘zurück‘ [back].
Question: Leipzig coach Ralph Hasenhüttl demands that his players do a lot of work to win back possession. Has it been difficult to adapt?
Augustin: The system played here is different, but it suits me. I’ve already acquired the most important qualities needed to play in my position. The word ‘back’ is very important in that. The pressing game we play here is much more extreme than it is in Paris. But I’ve still got to get better by training well and watching videos.
Question: Would you be disappointed if you were a substitute against Schalke in Leizpig’s first game of the new Bundesliga season?
Augustin: No, that’s all part of the competition for places and the coach has to make the decisions. I need to convince Ralph Hasenhüttl that I’m ready to play in the starting line-up.
Watch: See what Leipzig got up to at their annual DFL media day
Question: Before moving to Leipzig did you speak to any of your compatriots?
Augustin: Yes, I spoke to Ousmane Dembele and he raved about the Bundesliga. The fans in the stadiums sing from the first minute to the very last and create a good atmosphere. That was an important factor. I also spoke to Borussia Dortmund’s Dan-Axel Zagadou and Gladbach’s Mamadou Doucoure.
Question: Will playing at Leipzig help you step up to the national team?
Augustin: It would be a dream come true if I could play for the national team soon. But that all depends on me and my performances for Leipzig.
Question: What do you make of your former club signing Neymar?
Augustin: It’s great for Paris and the fans that Neymar’s there now. But I came to Leipzig to get more game time. The past doesn’t interest me anymore.
Question: Your brother Christophe once persuaded you to join a football club when you were younger and he is still one of your advisors. Will he and the rest of your family join you in Leipzig?
Augustin: I’m the youngest of four siblings. I fly back to Paris whenever I can to visit them. My mum and dad will come over here for home games. My family and my faith mean a lot to me, which is why I pray before kick-off. I’m thankful to God that this is my job.
Quiz: How well do you know Augustin’s new club RB Leipzig?