Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Bundesliga Centre-Back Is On Liverpool’s Radar: Is He A Good Fit For The Merseyside Giants?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

In a recent edition of the Red Agenda podcast (transcripted by msn.com),  The Athletic‘s Simon Hughes revealed that Red Bull Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano is on Liverpool‘s radar as he said, “Looking at the position (centre back) and as ever Liverpool tend to narrow things down to a target of four players.”

“Upamecano of Leipzig is definitely on that list, definitely on Liverpool’s radar.”

“He’s a very very good player, someone who can play for whoever he signs for the next 10 years if he goes to one of the major European clubs which I think he will.”

“His contract situation would allow him to get him for a decent price in the summer.”

Upamecano’s Incredible Rise In The Bundesliga

The 22-year-old has made an encouraging start to this campaign after producing a run of dominant performances at the heart of Julian Nagelsmann’s defence. Upamecano has made 11 appearances for Leipzig this term, scoring one goal and securing four yellow cards in the process across all fronts.

The Evreux-born talent has been a rock at the back and has played an influential role behind the German club’s recent run of conceding just five goals in eight league matches this season. He has caught the eye once again in Europe where he is averaging 4.0 tackles, 1.3 interceptions, 2.0 clearances, 1.0 shots and 1.0 dribbles per game in the UEFA Champions League group stages. The French centre-half has also been an accurate ball-distributor as he has completed 85% of his attempted passes in European football (stats via whoscored).

Dayot Upamecano is on Liverpool's radar (Upamecano is seen in the photo)
Dayot Upamecano of Leipzig runs with the ball during the pre-season friendly match between RB Leipzig and Aston Villa at Red Bull Arena on August 3, 2019, in Leipzig, Germany. (Photo by Matthias Kern/Bongarts/Getty Images)

What Will The French Defensive Ace Bring To Merseyside?

Upamecano has got the speed to make a few lung-bursting recovering runs at the back and usually comes up with the ball when he goes in for challenges inside his half. He has established himself as one of the most consistent performers at the Red Bull Arena over the past 18 months.

The French youngster possesses incredible upper-body strength which helps him to win a lot of 50-50 aerial duels and is not afraid to clear his lines when in danger of being outnumbered by the opposition inside his penalty area. He is also a good ball-playing centre-back which makes him a perfect fit for Liverpool’s brand of football at Anfield.

Will Upamecano Be A Good Fit For The Reds?

The early signs have been quite promising from Upamecano, so Jurgen Klopp should consider engineering a move for him in January. In the injury absence of Virgil Van Dijk and Joe Gomez, the Reds head coach has currently got just Joel Matip and Fabinho as his first-choice centre-backs with the likes of Nathaniel Phillips and Rhys Williams serving as their back-ups in his squad.

Hence, a defender of Upamecano’s quality will be a welcome addition to the Liverpool squad as he will not only be an immediate fix to their defensive concerns but also serve as a long-term acquisition as he could potentially strike up a dominant defensive partnership with Van Dijk in the coming seasons. All in all, Upamecano will be an excellent fit for the Reds during the winter transfer period, so Michael Edwards would be wise to launch a move for him in January.

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