Arsenal have been linked with the French defender for some time now as they look to solve their woes in defence. From glaring errors to lack of leadership in the defensive spine, Arsenal need to have that effect that Liverpool had when they signed Virgil van Dijk in order for them to challenge for honours both at home and in Europe. With the likes of David Luiz, Sokratis and Mustafi not cutting it and the low supply on strong centre-backs, who can be out there to solve Arsenal’s problem in defence? Dayot Upamecano, that’s who.
Born in Evreux, France, Upamecano was part of the Valenciennes youth setup. The likes of Manchester United were already interested in him from an early age. He was part of the 18-man squad for France at the UEFA U-17 European Championship in Bulgaria in 2015, that included the likes of Luca Zidane and Jeff-Reine Adelaide. France won the tournament with Upamecano shining. In fact, he made it into the team of the tournament.
In July 2015, Upamencano moved to Austrian side Red Bull Salzburg where his football education continued. He would make just 23 total appearances for Red Bull Salzburg before moving to sister club RB Leipzig in January 2017 for a reported fee of €10 million. Since then, the Frenchman has made 68 appearances for the Bulls and has been a guaranteed starter under Ralf Rangnick and now Julian Nagelsmann. Of course now, several of Europe’s biggest clubs have their eyes on the Frenchman.
Dayot Upamecano – Style of Play
Nominated for the Golden Boy Award in 2018. Being compared to French legend Marcel Desailly. There’s no doubt Dayot Upamencano has the potential to be a top defender.
A tall physical presence with great pace, he epitomises the modern-day centre-back. In his 13 Bundesliga appearances this season, he has averaged 2.5 tackles and 1.5 interceptions per game (Whoscored.com). He has also won 65.6% of his duels on the ground and in the air (Bundesliga.com). Very impressive stats for the 21 year old.
Upamecano is also composed with the ball at his feet. The 6ft 1 centre back has a pass success rate of 88.8% with 71.7 average passes per game and 3.8 long balls in 2019/20. This highlights how comfortable he is with playing out from the back. Something Mikel Arteta will definitely be impressed by.
Move to Arsenal imminent?
Arsenal in the summer transfer made an enquiry on the Frenchman which was rejected by Leipzig. Despite advances set to be made by Mikel Arteta, Leipzig look to stand their ground ruling him out from a move in January with a title push and a knockout tie against Spurs in the Champions League. Arsenal will try again to test Leipzig’s resolve as they continue to sort after Upamecano.
It certainly won’t be cheap though. According to the Metro today, the German side will not sell their 21 year old defensive prospect for anything less than £70 million. If the Gunners really want to make a statement and show ambition, signign Dayot Upamecano would do that. The perfect way to back your new manager.
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