Now that Manchester United seem to have added attacking depth with the anticipated arrival of Ajax’s Donny van de Beek, the main target ought to now swap to defensive issues.
In his first full season on the United helm, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was largely in a position to depend on a central defensive partnership of Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof.
Nevertheless, with the Champions League to return, including one other central defender is excessive on the Norwegian’s precedence checklist given the uncertainty surrounding a number of of his present choices.
The futures of Chris Smalling and Marcos Rojo are but to be resolved following their latest mortgage spells, whereas Eric Bailly and Phil Jones have struggled to remain match throughout Solskjaer’s reign.
Axel Tuanzebe is an choice however there’s a feeling that the 22-year-old would profit extra from one other mortgage spell after impressing at Aston Villa in 2018/19.
Given the present panorama at Outdated Trafford, it’s no shock to see United being linked with RB Leipzig’s Dayot Upamecano. As per ESPN, Solskjaer is eager to land the Frenchman as he views him as the perfect accomplice for Maguire on the coronary heart of United’s again 4.
Upamecano has been a daily for Leipzig during the last three seasons having joined the membership from Pink Bull Salzburg in January 2017.
The defender was already tipped for an enormous future by the point he moved to Germany, having starred for France as they gained the UEFA European Below-17 Championship in 2015, with Upamecano being named within the Group of the Match.
Following a breakthrough 2017/18 marketing campaign, he was shortlisted for the 2018 Golden Boy award, which in 2015 was gained by United’s Anthony Martial.
Whereas Matthijs de Ligt edged him out for that exact accolade, Upamecano has continued to progress at a formidable fee.
Regardless of an injury-affected 2018/19 season, with a knee drawback proscribing him to 15 Bundesliga appearances, he attracted a substantial quantity of curiosity from throughout Europe, with the Guardian outlining Arsenal’s admiration for the participant.
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However after deciding to remain at Leipzig, Upamecano – who was strongly linked with United in 2015 – has been an important determine underneath Julian Nagelsmann, making 28 appearances to assist the Pink Bull membership end third within the Bundesliga.
The 21-year-old additionally starred in Leipzig’s run to the Champions League semi-finals, incomes widespread approval for his man-of-the-match show within the quarter-final win over Atletico Madrid.
That evening, per Opta, Upamecano gained 9 of 11 duels and three of his 4 aerial battles. He made 5 clearances, three interceptions and succeeded with each sort out makes an attempt and all three of his tried dribbles.
If that efficiency, on the grandest stage towards a battle-hardened striker in Diego Costa, was an audition for a transfer to considered one of Europe’s elite golf equipment, Upamecano handed it with flying colors. It definitely impressed France supervisor Didier Deschamps, who final week referred to as him up for the primary time.
Silencing Costa was removed from the one time he has starred in Leipzig’s again three. Through the 2019/20 Bundesliga season, he made a complete of 83 clearances, 33 headed clearances and 43 interceptions.
Completely spectacular in possession, Upamecano is named considered one of German soccer’s most progressive passers, usually breaking the traces with the tempo and verticality of his passes.
In that Atletico recreation, for instance, he accomplished eight out of 10 tried passes into the ultimate third, demonstrating how efficient he’s in pushing his facet into the subsequent section of an assault.
That is one thing United lack. Though Maguire and Lindelof are each competent ball-carriers, neither are identified for his or her passing. In Upamecano, Solskjaer can be gaining a real ball-playing centre-half who would excel when given the possibility to take the ball ahead and discover considered one of United’s attacking gamers.
Nevertheless, at 21, he’s not but the completed article. Naturally aggressive, the Frenchman likes to get tight to strikers, which ends up in him conceding a excessive quantity of fouls with 1.32 per 90 final season.
And his pure tendency to deliver the ball ahead and try to interrupt the traces can result in him being caught excessive up the pitch. At occasions he’s too simply interested in the ball, as evidenced towards Atletico when he tried to win the ball off Costa, leaving area in behind for Joao Felix to surge into and in the end win a penalty following Lukas Klostermann’s foul.
In fact, no person expects central defenders to have accomplished their training at 21. Given time, Upamecano ought to add a level of restraint to his defending, figuring out when to take a seat and when to attempt to minimize out a move.
However they’re minor points within the grand scheme of issues. Upamecano has proven immense potential over the previous few years at Leipzig and, as an excellent passer, he would add a much-needed build-from-the-back dimension to United’s play.
United spent handsomely to signal Maguire, who has rapidly change into a pacesetter underneath Solskjaer. Upamecano, nonetheless, can be a game-changing acquisition for the Reds and would virtually definitely take them to the subsequent stage.