Football recruitment expert Ian McGarry has claimed that Liverpool’s first-choice centre-back target is Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano.
McGarry says that Jurgen Klopp wanted to sign Upamecano last summer but the club opted against going for the French international following Dejan Lovren’s departure to Zenit.
Upamecano signed a new contract with RB Leipzig at the end of the 2019/20 campaign, but Liverpool are now potentially looking to prize him from Germany in the coming windows.
Speaking on The Transfer Window podcast (20/10/2020), as transcribed by ThisIsFutbol, McGarry revealed the player Klopp wants to sign to improve his defence. “What we have learned from our sources here at Transfer Window HQ is that Dayot Upamecano, the RB Leipzig centre half, is Liverpool’s first choice in terms of a new centre-half to buy.
“He was the defender who Jurgen Klopp identified way before this summer’s window as someone who should be coming into Anfield to replace Dejan Lovren, who, as we know, left the club in the summer.
“Interestingly, and also, I’m sure, ironic, for the German head coach [is] that he was not given the player he wanted [in the summer transfer window], indeed, he was not given a centre half at all, and now he finds himself without one of the best centre-backs in world football, probably for the rest of the season.”
ANFIELD WATCH VERDICT
Given the news that Virgil van Dijk could be out for the rest of the season with an ACL injury, it could make sense for Liverpool to make a move for Upamecano in the next transfer window. It leaves Liverpool with just two natural centre-backs – Joel Matip and Joe Gomez – which could result in them being short in that position if they get one or two injuries during the course of the campaign.
Upamecano enjoyed a successful night in the Champions League on Tuesday as he recorded a WhoScored rating of 7.37 in Leipzig’s 2-0 win over Basaksehir. He made three tackles, two interceptions and two clearances, along with a 91% passing accuracy and two aerial wins – highlighting the standard of performance he is capable of producing at the highest level.
If he could bring displays of that quality to Liverpool then he could be a terrific addition to Klopp’s squad. McGarry says that Klopp has been following him since before last summer, which does suggest that the German is already well aware of his qualities and believes that he can be a good signing for the Reds. If the interest is serious, hopefully, Liverpool can strike a deal with Leipzig and bring the Frenchman to Anfield.
I’m a 22-year-old football writer from Lowestoft. I produce, edit, and publish articles for Anfield Watch full-time.