Bayern Munich newcomer Dayot Upamecano (l.) has made a real impression on sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic (r.). - © imago
Bayern Munich newcomer Dayot Upamecano (l.) has made a real impression on sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic (r.). - © imago

Bayern Munich sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic bowled over by Dayot Upamecano


Hasan Salihamidzic has overseen some big signings in his time as Bayern Munich sporting director - Alphonso Davies, Lucas Hernandez and Leroy Sane among them - but none have made quite such a first impression at the contract table as Dayot Upamecano.

"When we sat in my office to sign the contract, Dayot put the pen to one side and said, 'Right, now I've signed the contract, I want to make a little speech'," Salihamidzic revealed at Upamecano's official unveiling as a Bayern player on 13 July.

"Then he explained how proud and happy he is to be at Bayern. I've never experienced anything like it. We were all really surprised - by his command of German, too. It's exactly what we expect and need from him. He needs to be loud with his instructions out from the back on the pitch."

Upamecano switches to Bayern on the back of a formative stint at RB Leipzig, whom he joined from Red Bull Salzburg in January 2017. The 22-year-old defender has gone on to make 112 Bundesliga appearances, including 57 under new Bayern coach Julian Nagelsmann. He was also part of the Leipzig team that reached the 2019/20 UEFA Champions League semi-finals, and has earned three senior international caps for France.

"Dayot doesn't need a long transition period," Salihamidzic continued. "He's here to deliver good performances. He's strong in the tackle, tough, has a good passing game and has the advantage of already knowing the head coach. He knows his leadership qualities will be called on from the get-go."

Watch: Why Dayot Upamecano is the perfect signing for Bayern

Upamecano - who will wear the No.2 shirt at Bayern - is expected to make his debut in the record champions' pre-season opener against Cologne on 17 July, ahead of further friendlies against Ajax, Borussia Mönchengladbach and Napoli.

Nagelsmann's side begin their competitive campaign against fifth-tier Bremer in the DFB Cup first round (6 August), before facing Gladbach away on Bundesliga Matchday 1 (13 August). Germany's most successful club defend their DFL Supercup against DFB Cup holders Borussia Dortmund four days later.

Bayern are bidding for a record-extending 10th successive Bundesliga title, and 31st overall.