Rising star Dayot Upamecano is having a strong start to the season with RB Leipzig. With strong performances, comes attention from bigger clubs. Most of the interest for Upamecano has reportedly come from the two largest sides in Manchester: United and City.
While Upamecano did not impress the masses during RB Leipzig’s 5-0 defeat to Manchester United, he still has some strong points from games in the Bundesliga this season. Overall, Upamecano’s mixture of pace and strength may make him the perfect candidate to pair with Maguire in defense.
Strong in Defense with Pace
As mentioned above, Upamecano looks class at the back so far this season. The Bundesliga clocked him at 22 mph earlier this season, making him the second-fastest player in the league! That pace allows him crucial recovery time when the opposing side is on the counter-attack. Also, a player with pace like Upamecano is exactly what United need to pair with Maguire to cover him at the back if he is out of position.
Needs Work in Aerial Duals
Dayot Upamecano works better on the ground than he does in the air. Due to his lack of size at 6’1, Upamecano struggles in aerial duals more than other, taller, center backs. His success rate in the air last season was 61%, which puts him 6% below United captain, Harry Maguire.
However, the good news is that Dayot is still very young (22 years old) and with time and muscle gain, that number could easily increase to surpass the success rate of other players -even despite his size.
Playing Against Top Sides
Upamecano’s best performances this season have come against weaker sides. Notably, his strongest games were against Schalke and Mainz, who are the two teams currently on the bottom of the Bundesliga table. His worst performance came against our own boys at Old Trafford.
In United’s 5-0 thrashing of RB Leipzig, Upamecano looked surprisingly out of place. However, it was just one game and he looked strong in the Champions League Quarter final, where he led Leipzig past Atletico Madrid. This season will be a strong tell of whether he may be ready for a big move away from his current club.
Improving on Ball
Dayot should also be a quality transfer option for United because of his skill on the ball. Despite being a center-back, Upamecano plays the ball well and completed 91% of his passes this season in the Bundesliga. In the Champions League, Upamecano sends 13.9 long balls forward per 90, which is 4.9 more per game than United’s Harry Maguire. Signing Upamecano would not only improve United’s defense, but also their attack.
Glory Glory Man United.
Written by CJ Szaz.