Why £40m colossus reportedly linked with Liverpool ticks all of the boxes for Michael Edwards
Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

Dayot Upamecano is someone Michael Edwards will not ignore

The transfer window may effectively be over for Liverpool but the rumours just never seem to stop, even with the window closed, barring domestic deals.

It is not long until the January window opens after all, and Sports BILD (via Sports Witness) are already linking Liverpool with a move for RB Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano.

LEIPZIG, GERMANY – OCTOBER 03: Dayot Upamecano of Leipzig runs with the ball during the Bundesliga match between RB Leipzig and FC Schalke 04 at Red Bull Arena on October 03, 2020 in Leipzig, Germany. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)

On many levels, it shouldn’t be too surprising to see Liverpool touted with a move for one of Europe’s brightest upcoming talents and the timing of the reports fit the club’s modus operandi.
After all, Liverpool have demonstrated time and time again that they are happy to bide their time when it comes to transfers as were the cases of Virgil van Dijk, Thiago Alcantara and Naby Keita as well as the unsuccessful pursuit of Timo Werner.

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Liverpool’s sporting director Michael Edwards has proven himself a shrewd and difficult negotiator when it comes to signings in the transfer window, therefore, it is likely that the club will only pursue a deal if they see genuine financial benefits.

Exceptional value

At just 21, Upamecano has showcased he is among the best young defenders across the continent and will soon be ready for the next footballing platform to elevate his game further.
Also, when you consider the player’s £40 million release clause, it represents exceptional value for money. To add further context to such value, it’s worth noting that Manchester City signed central defensive duo Nathan Ake and Ruben Dias for a combined £106 million.
Despite his young age, Upamecano has demonstrated his big-game mentality on the biggest stage in club football helping guide Leipzig to the club’s highest-ever finish in the Champions League having reached the semi-finals of the competition.
Signing Upamecano would effectively kill two birds with one stone for Liverpool. The France international is already seen as a genuinely top-class defensive option and his addition at Anfield will only increase competition for places as the welcomed arrival of a truly elite competitor will only force Gomez to keep his own form high – and, with both Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip pushing 30, it would simultaneously pave the way for the club’s next long-term defensive partnership.

Ticks all the boxes

LEIPZIG, GERMANY – SEPTEMBER 20: (BILD ZEITUNG OUT) Dayot Upamecano of RB Leipzig controls the ball during the Bundesliga match between RB Leipzig and 1. FSV Mainz 05 at Red Bull Arena on September 20, 2020 in Leipzig, Germany. Fans are set to return to Bundesliga stadiums in Germany despite to the ongoing Coronavirus Pandemic. Up to 20% of stadium’s capacity are allowed to be filled. Final decisions are left to local health authorities and are subject to club’s hygiene concepts and the infection numbers in the corresponding region. (Photo by Roland Krivec/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)

Another factor which works in Upamecano’s favour is his versatility across the backline. Having played on the right-side of a defensive two, Upamecano has since switched to the left when partnering Ibrahima Konate which would make him a long-term like-for-like solution to Van Dijk. He has also been utilised as the dominant central cog when playing three at the heart of the defence.
Straight to the point, a player of  Upamecano’s quality ticks practically every box you could want from a potential transfer target. He is aggressive, tenacious, dominant in the air, has age on his side and is relatively cheap – what more could Liverpool want to convince themselves this is a deal worth pursuing?
Leipzig have successfully managed to secure Upamecano’s services for another year but they will know it is only a matter of time before the towering defender is poached by one of Europe’s elite superpowers. Liverpool’s status as world champions should see them among the top contenders to strike a deal.
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