Why Dayot Upamecano would be a terrific signing for Barcelona
Upamecano, 21, came through the ranks of Valenciennes’ youth system in France and moved to RB Salzburg in 2015. Two years later, Bundesliga side RB Leipzig snapped him up and since then, he has been a consistent member at the Red Bull Arena.
Currently, in his third year with the club, Upamecano has made 94 appearances for Leipzig so far. He has grown to establish himself as one of the best young talents across Europe. His performance has attracted interests from several top European clubs, including Arsenal.
Initially, he struggled with fitness at the start of this season but has gone on to feature in 13 Bundesliga games so far. His presence has helped Julien Nagelsmann side remain atop the table and he has put in some eye-catching performance at the heart of the defence.
As a result of his impressive growth, as the report suggests, Barcelona are in talks with him over a switch to the Camp Nou, which could set long-terms admirers Arsenal on the lookout for other options.
Meanwhile, Ernesto Valverde’s side have not been so dominant in the ongoing campaign despite leading the La Liga table. They have suffered limitations in various positions on the pitch and the manager must address the situation immediately.
One of the chief reasons for their inconsistency has been their failure to form a strong defensive unit. The Blaugranas have already conceded 23 goals so far and with half of the season yet to be played, the manager needs to make in some changes to their backline.
Gerard Pique has been consistent for them for many years but looks to be slowing down in all the aspects due to ageing. Frenchman Samuel Umtiti has been prone to injuries and his returns have not been up to the mark.
He has featured in just 5 games in the league this season and is yet to convince the manager for a regular starting spot. He was below par in the most recent outing against Atletico Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup, where they were eventually beaten by Diego Simeone’s side.
Therefore, this leaves the manager with just two established defenders in Pique and Clement Lenglet at his disposal.
With the January transfer market open for business, Barcelona have to look for the right option and Dayot Upamecano would certainly fit the bill. He is in the form of his life and the fact that he is young makes him a suitable candidate for the Catalan giants.
Nominated for the Golden Boy Award in 2018, Upamecano has come a long way from playing in the Ligue 2 to establishing himself in the heart of Leipzig’s defence.
Dayot Upamecano – game style
A tall physical presence with great pace, he epitomizes the modern-day centre-back. He has registered 2.5 tackles, 1.5 interceptions and 3.2 clearances per game in Bundesliga [Whoscored].
The 24-year-old is more composed on the ball and has the potential to walk straight into any team’s starting XI. The video below shows his quality of stop the opponent’s with ease and this would be effective for Valverde’s side.
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A future star in the making, Upamecano must be on the books of Barcelona sooner than later. He would be an upgrade to Umtiti and with Pique declining, the youngster could go on to play for them in the long run.