Dayot Upamecano Could Be Bayern Munich's Missing Puzzle Piece - But He Still Won't Be Their Superstar Defender

By Ben Carter
FC Bayern Muenchen v RB Leipzig - Bundesliga
FC Bayern Muenchen v RB Leipzig - Bundesliga / DeFodi Images/Getty Images

Bayern Munich have a defence which has become the envy of most other teams in Europe.

Lucas Hernandez and Benjamin Pavard have added some World Cup-winning flair to their back four, while David Alaba and Alphonso Davies have impressed even in spite of the fact they're playing out of position.

Even Jérôme Boateng has had his moments, while Bayern Munich's star studded defence has seen Joshua Kimmich move into midfield.

FC Bayern Muenchen v RB Leipzig - Bundesliga
FC Bayern Muenchen v RB Leipzig - Bundesliga / DeFodi Images/Getty Images

They say you can have too much of a good thing, but Bayern Munich's pursuit of Dayot Upamecano would suggest chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge doesn't agree.

And, he'd be right.

The France Under-21 international has become one of the most talked about defenders in Europe's major leagues, with Upamecano finding himself being linked with the likes of Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur and even Barcelona, but it's Bayern Munich who appear to be at the front of that queue.

In fact, there isn't even a queue. Upamecano has seemingly already agreed to move to the Allianz Arena at the end of the season.

It's a move which will certainly pave the way for Boateng to leave, as Upamecano won't be joining the club just to warm a seat on the bench. But the 21-year-old might still find it difficult to reach the same levels of stardom that he's seen in Saxony.

That's not because of him as a player either. Upamecano has already proved he's well worth the hype, and at less than €60m in today's transfer market, the former Valenciennes youth star will end up being one of the bargains of the decade.

Upamecano's value to Bayern Munich won't just come from his ability on the pitch. Yes, he's quite a decent upgrade on Boateng or anyone who's coming through their academy, but the Frenchman will crucially let other players move back into their preferred positions.

Bayern Muenchen v Olympiacos FC: Group B - UEFA Champions League
Bayern Muenchen v Olympiacos FC: Group B - UEFA Champions League / TF-Images/Getty Images

Alaba will be able to return to left back, while Davies - who, thanks to his performances in the Champions League, is widely known as a full back - will retake his place as Serge Gnabry's understudy further up the pitch.

But what will stop Upamecano from becoming the answer to Bayern Munich's defensive problems is a player who's already part of the first team, but who's been absent throughout most of this season due to cruciate ligament injury.

The Bundesliga is hardly teeming with world class defenders, and the ones they do have don't usually play through the middle. But the one centre back there who stands above anyone else, both physically and metaphorically, is Niklas Süle.

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Even taking the likes of Virgil van Dijk or Raphaël Varane into account, there isn't a player in Europe's major leagues who comes close to matching Süle's combination of pace and power.

The 24-year-old boasts the most incredible attributes in that sense, while as far as his defensive skills are concerned, perhaps only Van Dijk and Kalidou Koulibaly were clear upgrades on the former Hoffenheim star prior to Süle's injury.

He truly is one of Europe's elite defenders, even if most fans outside the Allianz Arena have forgotten.

Süle doesn't have the Bavarian heritage Bayern Munich fans love to get behind, but in the same way fans in the Premier League place their 'homegrown' players on a pedestal, the Germany international will have an easier route to stardom than Upamecano.

FC Bayern Muenchen v 1. FC Koeln - Bundesliga
FC Bayern Muenchen v 1. FC Koeln - Bundesliga / TF-Images/Getty Images

The RB Leipzig star isn't even known as the best centre back at his current club. Ibrahima Konaté has been the real standout defender at the Red Bull Arena, while even Willi Orban provides a level of consistency which his younger teammates just haven't learned.

Upamecano will prove to be a fantastic addition for Bayern Munich as they add to their pool of French players who could help bridge the gap with Europe's elite clubs, and while he'll give the Bavarians a welcomed boost, it's Süle's return which will have the biggest impact on their wait for a sixth Champions League trophy.