After his outstanding performances throughout the 2019/20 – and especially in the latter stages of the UEFA Champions League – RB Leipzig centre-back Dayot Upamecano has earned a place in the France squad for the first time.
Upamecano, 21, has been a force to be reckoned with in the Bundesliga ever since his arrival from Red Bull Salzburg in January 2017. 'Supamecano' – as his Leipzig teammates call him – has made 83 appearances in the German top-flight all told, becoming a first-team regular at the Red Bull Arena, and a firm favourite of Julian Nagelsmann.
The 6'1" centre-back was particularly impressive in Leipzig's stunning 2-1 win over Atletico Madrid in the Champions League quarter-finals in August.
Upamecano completed 100 percent of his challenges and dribbles, while also seeing 92 percent of his passes find their target. He also had the joint-most touches of the ball in that game (99).
All of this, and more, has made it impossible for France international head coach Didier Deschamps to ignore Upamecano any longer.
"We've followed him, he was close to a call-up," Deschamps told a press conference on Thursday. "He's very physical, has a great presence, and what he was able to do in this final round of the Champions' League - I felt this was the right moment to call him up. Now it's up to him to keep this level up."
After making 46 international appearances for France at youth levels ranging from U16 to U21, Upamecano will be hoping to make his senior bow for his country in either of their UEFA Nations League matches against Sweden and Croatia, which will take place on 5 and 8 September respectively.
Upamecano is not the only Bundesliga-based name in the squad. Lucas Hernandez is also involved, although his Bayern Munich teammates Benjamin Pavard, Kingsley Coman and Corentin Tolisso have all been rested by Deschamps.