Jurgen Klopp can help Dayot Upamecano fix his problems. Current boss Julian Nagelsmann says they’re keeping him from being ‘world-class’.
Jurgen Klopp could be the perfect manager for Dayot Upamecano. That’s if you believe Julian Nagelsmann’s recent assessment of his defender at RB Leipzig.
“The mistakes he’s making are all starting the same way,” Nagelsmann said, per AS. “He wants to pass the ball to the attackers right away once he’s won it. That simply does not work all the time.
“He has to recognise when he can play the ball forward and when not. He is used to playing the ball forward fast to create a counter-attack.
“He grew up like this during his first year at Leipzig when this was the main tactic. Now the next step has to come.”
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Naglesmann then went on to say that these errors were stopping the player from becoming world-class.
“In general, Upamecano is on his way to [being] world-class, but he has to stop these things, obviously,” he said.
Now, Liverpool reportedly want the player. SportBild have recently claimed that the Reds like Upamecano and are looking at his £36m release clause at the end of the season.
Virgil van Dijk’s injury could accelerate any plans, of course, but it appears the interest is there regardless. And if Liverpool do want Upamecano, Klopp is the ideal manager for him to become an elite defender.
Everyone knows Klopp is an expert at developing players. Virtually every single player who has arrived at Liverpool has kicked on under his coaching.
Upamecano could do the same, especially as his weakness is a speciality of Klopp’s. Upamecano clearly needs to learn how to play out from the back at a top team – that’s what Liverpool excel on.
It’s not so much that Liverpool play out from the back – most top teams do – but how they do it is a key part of their play. Knowing when to force a quick counter-attack and when to slowly build play is the cornerstone of this side.
The 5-0 win over Atalanta was a good example. Liverpool controlled the ball for 57% of the game, suggesting they were patient at the back. But at the same time, Joe Gomez assisted a goal for Diogo Jota with a direct pass into the box.
Klopp teaches all of his defenders how to make these decisions at the right time. And if he could do the same with Upamecano, he could help him overcome his problems and develop into a world-class player.