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Oscar Gloukh: The Rising Star Drawing Attention from European Giants

Red Bull Salzburg boasts an impressive legacy of nurturing young talents like Sadio Mane, Erling Haaland, Dominik Szoboszlai, and Karim Adeyemi. The latest prodigy in their ranks is 19-year-old Oscar Gloukh, rapidly emerging as one of Europe’s brightest prospects.


Dublin , Ireland – 23 September 2022; Oscar Gloukh of Israel during the UEFA European U21 Championship play-off first leg match between Republic of Ireland and Israel at Tallaght Stadium in Dublin. (Photo By Seb Daly/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

As Manchester United, Liverpool, and Arsenal vie for his signature in the upcoming January transfer window, Gloukh’s journey from Maccabi Tel Aviv to Red Bull Salzburg showcases a player destined for greatness.

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A Journey Unfolds

Hailing from Rehovot, just outside Tel Aviv, Gloukh’s early football aspirations faced initial skepticism from his father, Maxim, a Russian immigrant to Israel. Undeterred, young Oscar showcased his skills in matches against older boys, eventually winning his father over with a display of undeniable talent. Joining Maccabi Tel Aviv’s academy, Gloukh’s rapid ascent saw him debut for the senior team at 17.

The Breakthrough

Gloukh’s breakthrough moment with Maccabi Tel Aviv arrived in April 2022, facing rivals Maccabi Haifa. In a captivating match, Gloukh showcased his composure, scoring a crucial goal and earning acclaim despite a late equalizer. This marked the beginning of a prolific period, including a standout performance at the U19 European Championships, where he earned the Goal of the Tournament award.


Salzburg Calling

Impressive performances drew the attention of scouts, leading to a €7 million move to Red Bull Salzburg in the winter transfer window. Despite interest from Barcelona, Gloukh chose Salzburg for his development. Under coach Matthias Jaissle, Gloukh swiftly acclimated, making impactful contributions, including his Champions League debut and a memorable equalizer against Inter.

Strengths that Dazzle

Gloukh’s versatility and skill set make him a nightmare for defenders. Operating in various positions, including No.10, false nine, and winger, he excels with both feet and navigates small spaces effortlessly. His footballing IQ, evident in and out of possession, has garnered praise from Salzburg’s manager Gerhard Struber, highlighting Gloukh’s potential for a remarkable career.

Areas for Growth

While Gloukh’s talent is undeniable, areas for improvement exist. Enhancing output in the final third, defensive concentration, and decision-making against low-block defenses are identified as potential growth areas. The young Israeli acknowledges the need to improve physically, citing encounters with opponents like Nicolas Barella as motivation to refine his physique.


Comparisons to Lionel Messi in style and pace emerge, though Gloukh’s playing style shares similarities with Paulo Dybala and Arsenal’s Martin Odegaard. Struber envisions Gloukh reaching the pinnacle of European football, drawing parallels to Mane and Haaland, but his unique flair hints at a distinctive path ahead.

The Madrid Connection

Despite interest from Barcelona, Gloukh’s heart lies with Real Madrid, and his dream is to play at the Bernabeu. This loyalty may influence future decisions. For now, Salzburg provides a nurturing environment for his development, with the potential for a move to a top club in the future.

In the words of former Maccabi Haifa academy coach Luis Vicente Mateo, “The greatest talent of Israeli football today is, of course, Oscar Gloukh.” Red Bull Salzburg, once again, proves its prowess in sculpting football’s next big stars.


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