With half of Europe’s big clubs, such as Manchester United and Arsenal, bending over backwards to acquire his services, Dayotchanculle Upamecano made the wise decision to continue his development at a club where he knew he would eventually play consistently.
Deciding that Red Bull Salzburg was the right club for him instead of a move to Old Trafford or to the Emirates, the now 18-year-old made the leap to Austria for just under £2m and spent most of last season in the club’s reserves, quietly but impressively continuing to learn.
Making the leap to the first-team this season, the French centre-back, who can also play as a defensive midfielder, has played in all but four of Salzburg’s league games this season, and is once again attracting interest from some of Europe’s elite.
Sport on Thursday claimed the youngster is on Barcelona’s radar, while Manchester City are said to be interested, yet a move to the Etihad to play under Pep Guardiola might have to wait a little longer.
Speaking to Salzburg.com last week, Upamecano was asked about the interest of managers such as José Mourinho and Arsène Wenger, and his answer will have been music to Salzburg’s ears.
He said: “I feel very comfortable here in Salzburg, both in the team and the city. My family have been here for a year, and have supported me throughout this time, but now I’m ready to b here alone.”
Impressing those at the club, as well as the fans, the 18-year-old clearly has a bright future ahead of him, and the question Salzburg.com ask is how long can the Austrian club keep the talent from moving to a more reputable club?
Judging by the player’s level-headed answers, we suspect at least until the end of the season.