Gazzetta dello Sport has recently claimed that Manchester City have begun negotiations for Red Bull Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano ahead of a potential move during this ongoing transfer window. It is understood that Pep Guardiola is hoping to strengthen his defence this summer and has identified the French centre-back as an ideal option to boost his team’s chances in the Premier League and the UEFA Champions League this season (via Gazzetta dello Sport).
Upamecano’s Recent Emergence At The Red Bull Arena
The Evreux-born defensive ace established himself as a top centre-back for Leipzig in Germany last season when he put in a run of consistent displays at the heart of Julian Nagelsmann’s defence. Upamecano appeared in 38 matches for the German outfit in the previous campaign, picking up two assists and nine yellow cards across all fronts.
Defensively, the 21-year-old was a rock at the back in league football after he averaged 1.9 tackles, 1.5 interceptions, 3.0 clearances and 1.0 dribbles per game in the 2019-20 Bundesliga campaign. The Leipzig youngster distributed the ball with a lot of conviction based on his excellent pass completion rate of 89.1% in the German top-flight (stats via whoscored).
Upamecano has shown what he is capable of during his recent rise to prominence at the Red Bull Arena, so it is no wonder that Man City have decided to begin negotiations to land him this summer. He could be an instant fix to Guardiola’s defensive concerns from last season and might also help Man City challenge in the Champions League due to his prior experience of playing in Europe with his current employers.
What Will The French Centre-Half Bring To The Etihad Stadium?
Standing at 1.86m, Upamecano is a powerhouse in defence as he has got the strength to outmuscle the opposition and win a lot of headers in the air. He can also read the danger quickly and deal with the threat by clearing his lines when required.
The French youngster is an excellent tackler as well that helps him pull off some vital interceptions for his side on the defensive end of the field. He has proven himself to be a valuable member of Nagelsmann’s starting XI over the past 12 months. Still, it remains to be seen whether he can cope with the high intensity of English football if he ends up sealing a move to Manchester this summer.
Upamecano will add a lot of composure and defensive stability to the Man City backline and could make them the favourites to win the Premier League and the Champions League this season. The Leipzig star will be a significant upgrade over Nicolas Otamendi, John Stones and Nathan Ake.
Plus, he could potentially strike up a brilliant centre-back partnership with Aymeric Laporte under the watchful eyes of Guardiola. Hence, it makes sense for the Mancunian giants to engineer a move to bring the French starlet to the Etihad Stadium before the summer transfer window slams shut next month.