Former Liverpool star Don Hutchinson couldn’t hide his disappointment as the Reds were beaten to the signing of RB Leipzig sensation Dayot Upamecano by Bayern Munich.
Upamecano, 22, has agreed to join the reigning European champions, per The Guardian, at the beginning of the 2021/21 campaign following a four-year spell at the Red Bull Arena.
Jurgen Klopp was regularly touted with an active interest in signing the imposing France international, whose club side are due to take-on Liverpool tomorrow night in the Champions League knockout stages.
Upamecano isn’t in contention to play the last-16 first-leg as a result of suspension. Meanwhile, the match itself will be played in Budapest, Hungary, after Liverpool were banned from travelling to Germany due to COVID-19 regulations.
Liverpool have been in desperate need for an elite-level centre-back this season, with the likes of Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip all suffering season-ending injuries this term.
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This forced Klopp and Michael Edwards to act in the January transfer window, with Liverpool signing Ozan Kabak and Ben Davies on deadline-day.
Despite the much-needed addition of two central defensive reinforcements, Hutchinson wasn’t impressed by how easily Bayern were able to get ahead of Liverpool and secure a deal for Upamecano.
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It’s no secret that we’re pretty gutted about this transfer development, too. Upamecano was arguably the best player on the market in terms of value and quality, after all.
Bayern have secured the Frenchman’s services for a moderate £37 million – just under half of what Liverpool paid for Virgil van Dijk in 2018.
At 22, Upamecano is already regarded as one of the best defenders in Europe. It’s scary to think, then, how good he could become with a top-club in a few years time.
Perhaps the lure of Bayern was the guarantee of game-time for the next 10 to 15 years. Meanwhile at Liverpool, Klopp still has the favoured partnership of Van Dijk and Joe Gomez.
With that said, maybe Upamecano didn’t fancy the challenge of breaking up a defensive back-line that amassed 99 points last season. Both players aren’t going to be out injured forever, after all.
So, Liverpool will move on and are forced to look at alternatives other than Upamecano.
As there isn’t a better alternative currently on the market, this, then, could hand Kabak an added incentive to showcase his quality and make himself a viable long-term defensive option beyond his loan period from Schalke.