Dayot Upamecano made headlines recently after the champions of the world, Bayern Munich announced the signing of the centre-back. The German club beat some of the European elite to get the signature of the 22-year-old French defender. He will join the club in the summer but currently has a job to do for Julian Nagelsmann’s RB Leipzig against the champions of England, Liverpool in the UEFA Champions League Round of 16.
Along with Dayot Upamecano, we’ve identified a player from every tie of the Round of 16 of who can make an impact in the competition.
DAYOT UPAMECANO (RB LEIPZIG)
If rumours are to be believed then Liverpool with all their centre-back issues this season were interested in signing Dayot Upamecano in the summer. The French defender was on the list of many top European clubs but in the end, it was Bayern Munich who got the move over the line. To make matters worse for Liverpool, they will come up against Upamecano’s team, RB Leipzig in the Round of 16 of the Champions League.
FRANKIE DE JONG (BARCELONA)
2020-21 at FC Barcelona has been a turbulent one so far in Ronald Koeman’s debut season in charge. With a demotivated Lionel Messi, Koeman is looking for leaders on the pitch who can help the team come out of this testing period. The young Dutch midfielder, Frankie De Jong has been identified as one of the players around who Barcelona can start rebuilding the squad. If Barcelona are to go through to the next round of the Champions League then they’ll need De Jong to step up in the match against Paris Saint Germain.
ERLING HAALAND (BORUSSIA DORTMUND)
One of Europe’s hottest properties currently, Erling Haaland was the top scorer in the group stage of the Champions League. Dortmund would be hoping that the Norwegian forward continues his goal scoring exploits against Sevilla in the Round of 16 as well and help the team reach the quarter-finals of the competition.
FEDERICO CHIESA (JUVENTUS)
Andrea Pirlo in his first season as Juventus manager is flattering to deceive as the Turin-based club are looking to concede their Serie A title for the first time in almost a decade. However, Italian forward Federico Chiesa has been impressive in a topsy turvy season for Juventus. They have Porto in front of them in the Round of 16 and Pirlo will be backing Chiesa to come good in this tie.
LUIS SUAREZ (ATLETICO MADRID)
It seems like Lionel Messi was justifiably angry when FC Barcelona decided to terminate Luis Suarez’s contract in the summer. Atletico Madrid would be licking their lips seeing all of this unfold and now they have a striker who has a point to prove. So far the Uruguayan forward has been the difference in La Liga and Atletico are in the driving seat for the title. It seems like Suarez always has a point to prove when he plays English opponents in the Champions League and now they have Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea in the Round of 16.
SERGE GNABRY (BAYERN MUNICH)
Bayern Munich recently just scripted history as they became just the second team to win six trophies in a single season. The recently crowned champions of the world would look to defend their Champions League title with all their might. German forward Serge Gnabry has been a key player for them in the past few seasons and against Lazio, they’ll hope to see the same impact.
LUIS MURIEL (ATALANTA)
Atalanta are an exciting attacking force and the Colombian forward Luis Muriel is at the heart of it. He is one player who makes an impact irrespective of whether he starts or not. They have a stern test next up against a struggling Real Madrid but the Spanish giants usually reserved their best form for this competition.
PHIL FODEN (MANCHESTER CITY)
It seems like the coming of age for Phil Foden in the recent few matches for Manchester City. The English forward is a delight to watch and his versatility in the forward line makes him a sure shot pick in the starting XI on current form. The team is looking good for a quadruple this season and next up for Pep Guardiola’s team is the German side Borussia Monchengladbach.
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