RB Leipzig starlet plays for the crowds

Highly rated young RB Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano says he is not intimidated at playing in front of thousands of fans, and in fact thrives on the pressure.

The 18-year-old, who joined Leipzig in January from Austrian top flight side Salzburg, produced some fine displays towards the latter end of 2016/17 after an injury to Willi Orban.

A physically strong player with lightning pace and good ability in the air, he impressed many in the Bundesliga at the level of maturity he displayed in his performances.

It appears Upamecano’s ability to handle pressure is what helped him shine during what was a critical last few weeks of the season for the Bulls.

He told the Bundesliga’s official website, “I became a footballer to play in such (big) stadiums and in front of so many spectators. I am not a nervous guy, I am used to it. It was the same in France in my youth and now again in Leipzig.”

He added that playing in the same league as Borussia Dortmund star Ousmane Dembele is a privilege. “We grew up together in Evreux and have done a lot together,” Upamecano said. “He is a wonderful friend and footballer and now we’re together in Germany, I will definitely visit him.”

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