Who is Arsenal target Dayot Upamecano?

Arsenal’s desperate graft for a central defender grows as captain Laurent Koscielny departs the club. According to The Daily Mail, RB Leipzig would want £40m upfront for the French wonderkid Dayot Upamecano, a tricky fee for Arsenal to manage. If Raul Sanllehí is able to get the deal done, how does Upamecano improve Arsenal?

Background

Dayotchanculle Upamecano began his senior career at Austrian second division side Liefering, following a move from Valenciennes youth team. RB Salzburg soon snapped up the then U19 French international for around £2m, beating off interest from top clubs like Manchester United.

Unsurprisingly, Upamecano was beyond impressive and by January 2017, he had traded one Red Bull side for another. RB Leipzig paid around £10m for his signature and he was soon nominated for the Golden Boy award. A player that has taken such massive strides so quickly has managed to keep both feet on the ground, a major trait in modern football.

Style of Play

At 6ft 1in, the 20-year-old reads the game exceptionally well, averaging 2.2 interceptions in Bundesliga games last season. This knowledge and perception of the game, combined with his composure on the ball, breaks Upamecano into the Van Dijk mould. Whilst perhaps not as powerful, he still possesess significant strength.

A weakness in his game seems to occasionally be his overeagerness to commit to a challenge, something Arsenal are all too familiar with, in the shape of Shkodran Mustafi. In a league as punishing as the Premier League, Upamecano would have to adapt to the tempo of the game.

As outlandish as this deal seems, it’s not as farfetched as you think. Good friends with U21 teammate Matteo Guendouzi, will we see Dayot Upamecano trade Champions League football for Unai Emery’s project? We are certainly keeping an eye on it…

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