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Rio Ferdinand critical of reported Liverpool target Upamecano

Former England international Rio Ferdinand has criticised the performance of reported Liverpool target Dayot Upamecano after the centre-back was involved in a bruising 5-0 defeat to Manchester United on Wednesday night.

Upamecano, 22, has emerged as Liverpool’s ‘priority‘ central defensive target in the January window following the potentially season-ending ACL injury to Virgil van Dijk.

According to reports from The Sunday World, RB Leipzig are already bracing themselves for a bid from Liverpool for the imposing France international.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 28: Dayot Upamecano of RB Leipzig is chased by Mason Greenwood of Manchester United during the UEFA Champions League Group H stage match between Manchester United and RB Leipzig at Old Trafford on October 28, 2020 in Manchester, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Upamecano’s future is a very open subject as it is. His £38 million release clause is common knowledge, and it comes into effect next summer.

Normally, a player of his standard would be in the £60-70 million range.

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Despite his young age, Upamecano has already clocked up 121 appearances with Leipzig and has been capped three times by his national side France.

The RB Salzburg prodigy had been enjoying a stellar season prior to the defeat at Old Trafford with Leipzig currently top of the Bundesliga and unbeaten in their opening five matches.

Defeat to Manchester United represents Julian Nagelsmann’s first defeat since the Champions League semi-final loss to PSG back in August.

Marcus Rashford came off the bench to score a hat-trick to round off a fantastic week both on and off the pitch for the inspiring MBE. Mason Greenwood and Anthony Martial were also on the scoresheet to round off the win.

Many Liverpool fans would have been watching their bitter rivals in action to see how reported target Upamecano would fare against Premier League opposition.

It wasn’t a performance to remember from the Frenchman’s part who enjoyed a rare bad day at the office. Upamecano failed to make a single clearance or interception and blocked zero shots as well as losing possession on 13 separate occasions according to SofaScore.

BT Sport’s pundit Ferdinand was quick to analyse Upamecano’s display against United and he didn’t hold back as he claimed Rashford made the 6ft 1in defender and his teammates look like “schoolboys”.

Speaking to BT Sport after the game, he said: “The only way I can explain tonight’s little cameo was it was almost like being in the playground at school and the big boy, the sixth-former, comes and plays with the first years and just bullies everyone.

“Too quick, too strong and takes their dinner money. (Rashford) did the lot tonight. He was head and shoulders above them.

“He made defenders who we were marvelling about before the game, who we saw last season play really well in the Champions League, look like schoolboys.

“This is about being ruthless – but I thought Upamecano had a nightmare.”

LEIPZIG, GERMANY – OCTOBER 24: Dayot Upamecano of RB Leipzig takes a shot during the Bundesliga match between RB Leipzig and Hertha BSC at Red Bull Arena on October 24, 2020 in Leipzig, Germany. (Photo by Boris Streubel/Getty Images)

What RTK has to say

Despite Upemecano failing to catch the eye from a performance point of view, the result still could have positive ramifications for Liverpool.

Leipzig losing to United increases their chances of being eliminated from the Champions League which in effect could accelerate an exit for Upamecano to leave for a club of his choosing.

Given his age and moderately cheap price-tag, Liverpool will find no better option to bolster up their defensive reinforcements in the January transfer window.

Really, even if Liverpool were paying in excess of £50 million, it would still rank as a financially shrewd example of business.


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