Dayot Upamecano can reach the same dizzy heights as Virgil van Dijk by matching the Liverpool defender’s goal return, says RB Leipzig boss Julian Nagelsmann.
Upamecano, 21, is widely considered one of the most talented young defenders in European football, having become a key member of Nagelsmann’s Leipzig side in recent seasons.
Among others, Premier League duo Manchester United and Liverpool are reportedly eyeing up a move for the France international, who is valued at around £55million by Leipzig.
And Nagelsmann expects his young centre-back to emulate Reds star Van Dijk if he chips in with more goals.
“We all know that [Upamecano’s] an outstanding defender and one of the top players in his position in Europe,” he said.
“What distinguishes a Virgil van Dijk from him is that he has been scoring six or seven goals over several seasons.
“When he manages a similar rate, then he'll be even more valuable to us than he already is.”
Upamecano has scored just three goals in 118 appearances for Leipzig, with all of them coming in the 2017/18 campaign.
Van Dijk, on the other hand, has produced a return of 13 goals in 130 appearances for Liverpool since joining from Southampton in January 2018.
“Upa is very keen to get goals,” Nagelsmann added.
“He's working a lot on that, including on his heading. But it doesn't just depend on technique – it's also to do with adaptation and timing.”
According to The Sun, United missed out on signing Upamecano because of a dispute over just £200,000.
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It is believed the player was at Old Trafford with his mum and agent when a deal was lined up with former club Valenciennes back in 2015.
But Upamecano was denied his dream move to England as United officials only submitted a £500,000 offer for his services, with Valenciennes demanding £700,000.
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