Guinea-Bissau lose out to France for star defender


Probably one of the most talented defenders of his generation central defender Dayot Upamecano was born in France to Bissau-Guinea parents.

After making his first senior appearance for ‘Les Bleus’ on the 5th of September 2020 in a UEFA Nations League encounter against Sweden, the defender is now no longer eligible to represent the country of his parents, Guinea-Bissau.

The defender has been on a steady rise since 2015 after being scouted by Tottenham Hotspur as a 16-year-old.

He was identified by Spurs scouts as an outstanding prospect in 2015, but the Premier League club couldn’t compete with Red Bull Leipzig’s financial muscle back then as they won the battle for the 21-year-old.

It was inevitable that Upamecano would represent France having already played for almost all the country’s junior teams.

He was part of the U-16 team that finished third in the 2014 Aegean Cup and played every minute in France’s UEFA European U-17 Championship success a year later.

Overall, Upamecano made 14 appearances for France’s U-21s – it was a matter of time before he made his senior team debut.

Currently the defender is wanted by Manchester United, Arsenal and Tottenham but it is the Manchester club who are in serious hot pursuit of the defender after he had a blistering time at Leipzig who finished in the top four again in the Bundesliga and were eliminated by Paris-Saint Germain in the 2019-20 UEFA Champions League Semifinal recently.


Upamecano is a youth product of Valenciennes FC, a second division team in France, with his impressive progress there attracting the attention of a number of major European clubs at the time. As previously mentioned the defender eventually joined Red Bull Salzburg in July 2015 for a reported fee of 1.9 million Euros.

After an impressive 18-month stay with the Austrian giants the French man joined Salzburg’s sister club for an estimated 8.8 million Euros deal signing a four-and-a-half year deal with the German Bundesliga side.

The defender has established himself as one of the best young defenders in the world in Germany, having been shortlisted for the 2018 Golden Boy award along the way as a 18-year-old then.

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By Prince Sobayeni 

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