Why signing Upamecano could offer City some stability at the back
According to a report by Daily Mirror, Manchester City are interested in Red Bull Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano.
Meanwhile, City could face competition from North London outfit Arsenal, who were earlier tracking the 21-year old French centre-back, as claimed by Football.London.
Defending champions City have slumped to fourth place in the league standings after losing 3-1 to league leaders Liverpool.
The Pep Guardiola-led side’s defensive woes were clearly on sight in the game against the Reds, who are now nine points ahead of the current champions.
With the main man Aymeric Laporte injured and ruled out until next year, the City manager has been forced to hand out the defensive responsibilities to Brazilian midfielder Fernandinho.
Though Fernandinho has repaid his manager’s faith in him, the midfield anchor’s defensive weaknesses have been clearly exposed, like in the game against Liverpool.
Meanwhile, Englishman John Stones has recently returned from an injury lay off and has been a little inconsistent at times. City have had major issues at the back, especially since the departure of former skipper Vincent Kompany in the summer.
Any more injuries to the defensive players could put City in a really tight spot and could dampen their hopes of defending their title. Hence, Guardiola and his City would be playing it safe if they move for Dayot Upamecano.
Upamecano played a major role in his side’s top-four finish in the Bundesliga last season, helping them achieve a Champions League spot.
Having netted four times and assisted twice, the young Upamecano has featured in more than 100 matches for the German outfit.
With enough experience in his bag, City tracking Upamecano does not come as a surprise.
The youngster has already proven his mettle, having won the Austrian League title consecutively (2015-16 and 2016-17) with RB Salsburg before making his £9million move to Leipzig.
An excellent interceptor blessed with good man-marking skills, Upamecano has been termed as an ‘old-fashioned defender,’ by his former French youth coach Jean-Claude Giuntini.
Predominantly a defender, the right-footed Upamecano’s ball-winning abilities have seen him being deployed as a defensive midfielder too.
The centre-back is also a current member of the under-21 French squad, with 13 appearances to his name.
Known for his aerial abilities, the young defender has an average of 3 clearances per game. (Source: Whoscored)
With 2.4 tackles and a pass success rate of 88.4 % (according to Whoscored), Upamecano would clearly slot into Guardiola’s idea of a calm and composed defender, who can initiate attacks from the back.
Looking at the player’s overall attributes, Upamecano easily ticks all the boxes of a Guardiola-type defender.
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Also, his experience in German top-flight and Champions League at such a young age holds him in good stead ahead of many in the current City side. The youngster could thus be a viable long-term replacement for Kompany.
Upamecano to City would be a match made in heaven as he could offer them the defensive stability which they clearly lack at the moment.