Sunday, October 2, 2022

Liverpool Keep Tabs On RB Leipzig Center-Back: Can He Provide A Long-Term Solution?

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Anas Molla
An ageing teenager who apparently still likes Twenty One Pilots and HIMYM. Also fascinated by Greek and Egyptian mythology and history. Still waiting for my man Milos Raonic to win a Grand Slam.

Liverpool’s defensive mishaps continued as the Reds slumped to a 2-0 at the hands of Leicester City this midweek. The loss truly revealed their lack of prowess in the defensive department. The sheer volume of the defensive players that the club is linked with at the moment also gives out a signal as to how important it is for them to sign a centre back.

RB Leipzig’s Dayot Upamecano has emerged as the latest target of the Reds’ transfer shortlist. Although Liverpool was known to be a big admirer of the defender even before his move to Leipzig earlier this year, the Reds are stepping up their chase to sign the highly rated 18-year-old.

Upamecano, himself has emerged as one of the top defenders in the Bundesliga this season. The Frenchman is growing out to be one of the favourites for fans and experts alike. Upamecano is a strong presence in the centre of the defence, thanks to his relatively huge figure at the age of 18. But that’s not his only trait in the backline, he is also very good on the ball, and can act as the interior defender for the defensive line.

Upamecano is a strong presence in the centre of the defence, thanks to his relatively huge figure at the age of 18. But that’s not his only trait in the backline, he is also very good on the ball, and can act as the interior defender for the defensive line.

The former Salzburg man racked up some pretty great numbers so far this season. He averages a whopping nine defensive actions per game, totalling 34 defensive actions in just four matches, more than any other Leipzig player.

He also managed an impressive tally of 16 interceptions and 18 clearances early on in the season. But his strengths definitely lie on aerial duels. The youngster has an excellent aerial duel won ratio of 78% as well as tackle success rate of 72%. His passing is at a very high level, with an accuracy of 81%, he hardly gives away possession.

Liverpool will definitely strike gold if they can manage to sign the highly rated defender for a cheap price. However, it might not be an easy task, as Leipzig is poised to offer him a new contract, which will make him the joint top earner as well as have a release clause of a bumper 100 million euros.

RB Leipzig has been a territory for Liverpool’s scouting department of late. The club has already announced the signing of star player Naby Keita for next season while head coach Jurgen Klopp thinks highly of striker Timo Werner as well as playmaker Emil Forsberg. Therefore, Leipzig, with their fierce mentality, will look to make sure they don’t give away their next prized asset to the Merseysiders ever again.

[Stats courtesy: Squawka]

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