Who is RB Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano and why do Arsenal want to sign him?

Dayot Upamecano on the ball for RB Leipzig
Dayot Upamecano is on Arsenal’s radar forward of Thursday’s switch closing date (Picture: Getty)

Having impressively bolstered their midfield and attacking departments with the signings of Dani Ceballos and Nicolas Pepe, Arsenal will focal point their attentions on bolstering their backline from now till Thursday’s switch closing date.

Arsenal’s summer season trade has without a doubt been attention-grabbing however Unai Emery’s squad lately has a top-heavy really feel to it as the primary weekend of the Premier League season approaches, specifically with Laurent Koscielny set to go away.

Manchester United have been the one membership within the top-six to concede extra league objectives than Arsenal final time period and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has set about rectifying that factor by means of forking out a mixed £130m on Harry Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka.

Nicolas Pepe signs his contract after joining Arsenal for a club-record £72m
Nicolas Pepe turned into Arsenal’s club-record signing when becoming a member of from Lille final week (Picture: Getty)

In distinction, Arsenal are but to strengthen their defensive choices with £27m signing William Saliba heading instantly again to Saint-Etienne on mortgage. With Koscielny set to sign up for Bordeaux and Shkodran Mustafi to be had to the best bidder, Arsenal’s want to recruit a brand new centre-back is paramount.



RB ’s Dayot Upamecano is apparently the membership’s peak goal to are available with experiences rising on Monday that they have got tabled a £55m be offering to deliver him to north London following a few spectacular campaigns within the Bundesliga.

Here’s why Upamecano options so prominently on Arsenal’s centre-back wishlist.

Who is he?

Upamecano is a 20-year-old central defender who performs the world over for France at teens degree. In 2015, he helped his nation win the European Championship at U15 degree, being named within the Team of the Tournament for his efforts.

Born in Evreux within the French area of Normandy, Upamecano frolicked together with his native membership Evreux Club 27 – lately within the fifth-tier of French soccer – prior to signing for Valenciennes in 2013.

Dayot Upamecano passes the ball for Red Bull Salzburg against OGC Nice
Dayot Upamecano performed in Austria for Red Bull Salzburg sooner than becoming a member of RB Leipzig in 2017 (Picture: Getty)

From there he used to be snapped up by means of Red Bull Salzburg in a €2.2m deal two years later, who instantly loaned him out to their feeder membership FC Liefering.

Following an outstanding get started to the 2016-17 marketing campaign with Salzburg, he moved on to RB Leipzig in January 2017 for €10m.

How did he finally end up at RB Leipzig?

RB Leipzig are famend for his or her youth-orientated method to recruitment. In April, a find out about from CIES – The International Centre for Sports Studies – printed that the gamers in RB Leipzig’s squad for the 2018-19 season have been signed at a mean age of simply 21.43 years, the bottom throughout 24 peak divisions in Europe.



The membership’s whole technique is centred round purchasing proficient, first-team able gamers from untapped markets – together with increasingly more France – and creating them into stars. Considering they have got secured 3 top-three finishes in 4 seasons since promotion to the Bundesliga in 2015, their style has confirmed extraordinarily a success.

Although Leipzig’s scouting community is one of the efficient throughout Europe, the membership additionally advantages from being the large participant in Red Bull’s soccer solid. The present squad boasts a lot of gamers recruited from Red Bull Salzburg and New York Red Bulls, as an example.

Upamecano epitomises the Red Bull style greater than maximum having performed for RB Leipzig’s feeder membership Salzburg and honed his abilities on the Austrian membership’s personal developmental facet FC Liefering right through a mortgage spell in 2015-16.

Interestingly, Upamecano reportedly grew to become down a transfer to Manchester United in 2015 so as to sign for Salzburg as an alternative, probably due to the membership’s propensity to give younger gamers common mins within the first-team.

Is he equivalent any of Arsenal’s present defenders?

It used to be instantly glaring upon Emery’s appointment that Arsenal would glance to play out from the again, beginning with quick passes from the goalkeeper to defenders and progressing from there.

In order for that taste of play to paintings, Arsenal’s defenders want to be at ease in ownership beneath force and final season Koscielny and Sokratis Papastathopolous typically carried out properly in that regard, averaging 92% and 89% go finishing touch charges respectively.


Upamecano is completed with the ball at his toes however his go accuracy charge of 82.5% contrasts unfavourably with Koscielny and Sokratis. Part of the cause of that is he is extra adventurous together with his passing than both of them, regularly having a look to play in between the traces or excessive.

Sokratis Papastathopolous in possession for Arsenal against Barcelona
Upamecano would most likely get started along Sokratis Papastathopolous within the middle of Arsenal’s defence (Picture: Getty)

From a bodily viewpoint, Upamecano is sooner than any of Arsenal’s present central defenders and he makes use of his tempo to shut down attackers temporarily as properly to chase again balls introduced excessive of the defensive position.

Despite status at a somewhat small 6’1, Upamecano has a really perfect soar and is robust in aerial duels, successful 65% in overall final season, which used to be handiest bettered in Arsenal’s squad by means of Mustafi with 66%.

Is he what Arsenal want?

In phrases of his place, he is completely what Arsenal want. The acrimonious departure of Koscielny has left Arsenal missing our bodies in a space in their squad that used to be already understaffed.

Unless Arsenal can set up to get any person in, they face the chance of coming into the brand new marketing campaign with a centre again pool consisting of Sokratis, Mustafi, Rob Holding and Calum Chambers.

Dayot Upamecano in action for France U21 at the European Championship
Upamecano represented France at this summer season’s U21 European Championship (Picture: Getty)

Signing Upamecano would, subsequently, building up pageant for puts whilst including much-needed high quality. At Leipzig, Upamecano has established himself as some of the easiest younger defenders in Europe.

Nevertheless, there are issues too. Upamecano neglected 4 months of final season due to a knee damage, handiest returning for Leipzig’s ultimate two video games of the season, whilst he is additionally now not but the completed article regardless of his top doable ceiling.


With Koscielny on his approach out, Arsenal are shedding an influential participant and with a younger defender arriving subsequent summer season within the type of Saliba, Arsenal may have most well-liked to sign a extra skilled defender than Upamecano this switch window.

Are there any choices?

As Bournemouth’s £75m valuation of Nathan Ake amid pastime from Leicester City demonstrates, Arsenal are not likely to supply a central defender from the Premier League with out paying an extortionate charge due to the upcoming closure of the switch window.

Consequently, if they’re to sign a central defender between now and Thursday, they’re going to virtually without a doubt be sourced from in another country. Alongside Upamecano, Daniele Rugani of Juventus has been touted as a possible arrival.

Daniele Rugani of Juventus celebrates with the Scudetto title
Daniele Rugani is some other defender reportedly on Arsenal’s radar (Picture: Getty)

Despite being well-regarded in Turin, Rugani hasn’t ever began greater than 22 Serie A video games in a season for the membership and the summer season arrivals of Matthijs De Ligt and Merih Demiral have noticed him slip down to fifth-place within the pecking order, additionally in the back of Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci.

Arsenal are believed to have enquired about the potential of taking Rugani on a two-year mortgage deal however Juventus would favor an outright sale. Wolves also are reportedly within the 25-year-old and can be prepared to pay £30m to sign him.



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