Dayot Upamecano – Scout Report
RB Leipzig have been making waves across the footballing world with their style and philosophy. Apart from hardcore Bundesliga fans, everyone across the world is eager to see them challenge the hegemony of Bayern Munich in Germany. The club’s second-place finish in the league last season ahead of the likes of Borussia Dortmund and VFL Wolfsburg firmly placed them in the attention of the world while their focus on developing youngsters has drawn a lot of plaudits.
While the likes of Timo Werner, Emil Forsberg, and Naby Keita have been making headlines for their abilities, some of them have thus far escaped the limelight. One of them is Dayot Upamecano, the team’s teenage defender who has grabbed the interest of Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp. Let us take a look at his profile and understand why he is so highly rated at the club.
Born on the 27th of October 1998 in Evreux, France, Dayot was always miles ahead of players from his age group and has even won the Austrian League title with Red Bull Salzburg, Leipzig’s feeder club. He was picked up by the German club in the middle of the 2016/17 season for €10m, a hefty sum for someone so young and unproven.
Blessed with extraordinary physical capabilities for someone so young, he certainly looks set for the long run. Standing tall at 1.88 m and weighing 79 kg, the 18-year-old prefers playing as a centre-back and can be compared to Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane with regards to the style of play. Comfortable with the ball at his feet and aggressive and pacy when faced with a challenging situation, the former Valenciennes player has impressed in the little that we have seen of him so far.
His physical prowess enables him to be the wall of his side, warding off attacks down the centre with his strength and game-reading skills. He plays with a grace that very few young centre-backs possess, whether it be while defending a set-piece or picking a pass to feed the forward line.
The French starlet has taken time to adapt to the demands of the taxing Bundesliga schedule but he is doing well. The pace and the physicality of the league are much higher than that of Austria so it is natural that it would take time to settle in.
Moreover, he also has to work on his technique, especially his first touch, which is often poor when compared to the other facets of his game. A full pre-season with Leipzig this season will certainly help him deliver better. He has appeared in all the 6 games for the side and has certainly shown flashes of his incredible potential.
He has a contract with Leipzig until 2021 and it would be wise for him to stay there and learn the tricks of the trade with one of the best and most exciting sides in the world. Bigger clubs like Liverpool have shown interest in him but the youngster has a lot to learn before taking the big jump.