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‘He deserves everything he has achieved’ - Pape Ndiaye hails Upamecano progress

20:39 EAT 02/06/2020
Dayot Upamecano RB Leipzig 2019-20
The Senegalese has spoken of a number of issues, including his relationship with the 21-year-old defender

Vorskla Poltava midfielder Pape Ndiaye has praised the progress of his former teammate and RB Leipzig centre-back Dayot Upamecano.

The pair played together at the Valenciennes academy before parting ways in 2015 with Upamecano moving to Liefering and later to Red Bull Salzburg.

The Guinea-Bissau target joined RB Leipzig in 2017 and has become a key member of the team, having featured in 79 Bundesliga games to date.

Ndiaye is delighted with the progress of the defender and has opened up on his relationship with the 21-year-old.

“Yes, I am still in contact with him. And what I would like to say is that everything he has today he deserves it. He's a hard worker, someone who always knew where he wanted to go. I am not shocked by what happens to him,” Ndiaye told Goal.

“I go to his house from time to time. We went on vacation together. He is someone whom I consider to be very close since our two years together in Valenciennes. We left at the same time, him in Salzburg, and me in Auxerre.”

Ndiaye joined Vorskla in the summer of 2019 after a successful trial and has played in 12 Ukrainian Premier League game in this campaign.

The utility player explained some of the challenges he has encountered since teaming up with the side, including his recent change of position from the midfield to defence.

“I arrived for trial last summer. Initially, it was to last a week, but from the first training everything went so well that the president decided to come to take a look the next day,” he continued.

“I did a big session and he told the coach that he wanted to sign me right away. I was integrated into the professional group. I first played five minutes at Karpaty, then I started off against Shakhtar. We lost 4-0, but I still had a good game.

“Unfortunately, there was a change of coach. Suddenly, I was no longer playing. There was the language barrier, I was used as number 6. I disappeared for a while, I even played three matches with the U21.

"But after another very complicated defeat in Lviv, a new coach was appointed and that is where I really got rewarded for my work. The coach put me in central defence, and since my very big match against Dnipro, I have been going on.”

The Senegalese’s contract with Vorskla expires in 2021 but the midfielder is not distracted with his future and is focused on helping his team excel in the division, which recently resumed after the coronavirus outbreak.

“I take match after match and I do not project myself too much on the future. I have a contract with Vorskla until 2021. We have resumed the championship recently” he added.

“There is a good project with a coach who counts on me. I don't pay too much attention to all of this, even if it's flattering. Interested clubs know who to contact.”