Multiple outlets have have confirmed that Dayot Upamecano has extended his contract until 2023 with RB Leipzig.
The 21-year-old’s contract was set to expire in the next twelve months, and his earlier refusal to sign a contract extension had aroused a lot of interests from several top clubs especially Arsenal, who were said to be a frontrunner for his signature.
But the revelation of the Bundesliga side breakthrough in getting him sign an extension will surely affects Arsenal’s plan and hope of securing the Frenchman’s services this summer.
Arsenal are currently facing a lot of issues at their backline, with new signing Pablo Mari, Calum Chambers and Mustafi already being sidelined with injury, while none of the centre-backs as shown enough consistency throughout the season.
During the just concluded season, David Luiz made the wrong record and headline, being the only defender to have committed five penalties in a season. While Sokratis has found it hard to earn a starting berth since regaining full fitness.
Upamecano’s deal would have undoubtedly added more quality at the Gunners backline but his contract extension at RB Leipzig will now change Arsenal’s direction in signing a centre-back this summer. He has been one of the brightest centre-backs in Europe since signing for Leipzig in January 2017 from Red Bull Salzburg, in a deal worth around €10 million.
Signed as an 18-year-old, the Frenchman as shown tremendous confidence, quality and maturity thus far. The RB Leipzig centre-back possesses far incredible qualities such as his reading of the game (which is second to none), anticipation, pace and strength has seen many likened him to Marcel Desailly.
Standing at 6ft 1in, Upamecano has a great aerial advantage over his opponents, while his ability to initiate an attack from the back makes him a good option as a ball playing centre-back, which would have suited Mikel Arteta’s style of play.
Arsenal will now have to consider other defensive options and see if they can get a similar quality defender at an affordable price or settle for those already in the team, hoping to see an improvement in their performances next season, coupled with William Saliba’s introduction after returning from his mandated loan spell at his boyhood French club Saint-Etienne.