Dayot Upamecano has hit the ground running at Bayern Munich after joining from RB Leipzig this summer. He’s started and gone for 90 minutes in all but one of Bayern’s Bundesliga matches so far this season and started in their impressive 3-0 win at Barcelona in their opening group stage match in the Champions League. He’s also showed improvements with each performance, and arguably had his best outing at the Camp Nou last week.
In a recent interview with French outlet L’Equipe (via GetFrenchFootballNews), the center back admitted that he was always drawn in by the allure of Bayern’s winning mentality even when he was still with Leipzig.
“Even from the outside, I was always under the impression that Bayern was like a family. They all play together, win or lose. I was struck by their mentality, it’s true that all they think about is winning. For five years I watched them win many titles, they even stopped me from winning some, and it was often a great battle,” he explained. He was fortunate enough to have a full, proper preseason with the club — most of the Euro 2020 players didn’t join up camp until late on, but Upa already fits in quite well.
The transition from Leipzig to Bayern for Upamecano has also been largely aided by Julian Nagelsmann also making that same club to club transfer this summer. Upamecano spent two seasons playing under Nagelsmann at Leipzig, so he’s already very familiar with his tactics, coaching style, and how he works with his players.
“He has his own style of play, as we see at Leipzig. He wants us to play forward quickly, with lots of possession. Even as a defender, I have to be involved in the play. We have to be active and always want the ball. [I also have to] defend well, obviously, and try not to concede. So far it’s going well,” Upamecano said of Nagelsmann.
When he joined from Leipzig, Nagelsmann also brought his video analysis team with him, which is something he often utilizes. He likes to be able to see areas of the pitch from different scopes to be able to address what needs improving. Upamecano said that video analysis is something Nagelsmann did with him quite a lot during their time at RB Leipzig.
“He’s helped me in a lot of departments. He likes video sessions, and we used to do a lot of them back at Leipzig. He would tell me what I was doing really well, where I could improve, and I like having a coach that shows me my weaknesses,” Upamecano revealed.
Naturally, moving from Leipzig to Bayern means that Upamecano now has a higher caliber supporting cast laden with superstars like Robert Lewandowski, Manuel Neuer, Thomas Muller, and Leroy Sane. He said that it’s a team collective to make the success possible, but also highlighted how impressed he is with Jamal Musiala at only 18 years of age.
“There are so many good players at Bayern! If you ask me which, I would say the whole team. Among the young talents, you have Jamal Musiala. At his age, what he’s doing is impressive and I hope he’ll carry on developing. He will become a very good player. He’s very slender but you have to look at his technique. He rarely loses the ball,” he raved.