Why Chelsea must make a move for Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti
According to Italian journalist Nicolo Schira, Chelsea have made contact with the agent of Samuel Umtiti over a potential move in the summer transfer window, with Barcelona willing to sell the defender.
Samuel Umtiti, 26, played a key role in France’s 2018 World Cup triumph but has since struggled with injuries, which have hampered his time at Barcelona. Persistent knee problems have prevented the Frenchman from reaching his full potential over the past two seasons in Spain, with the defender losing his starting berth to compatriot Clement Lenglet.
The 26-year-old, who is contracted to the Nou Camp until 2023, has featured just 16 times across all competitions this season. He only managed 15 outings last season, which is a significant decrease compared to the 40 appearances made during the 2017/18 campaign when Barcelona completed a domestic double.
Meanwhile, Chelsea have been inconsistent for the majority of the season, yet they are fourth in the table. Despite no new players arriving at Stamford Bridge in the last two transfer windows, Frank Lampard deserves plaudits for keeping the Blues in the hunt for a top-four finish.
While Lampard has done a good job by blooding youngsters this season, there have been a few weaknesses in the squad the English tactician should address during the summer window. One of Chelsea’s glaring problems has been at the back, with Lampard’s side conceding 39 goals in 28 games.
None of Antonio Rudiger, Kurt Zouma or Andreas Christensen has lived up to the standards this season. Rudiger has struggled with injuries, hampering his progress at the club. Zouma and Christensen have been unconvincing, while Fikayo Tomori faded off after a bright start to his breakthrough campaign at Stamford Bridge.
Therefore, the manager should prioritize strengthening the backline with experienced campaigners and Samuel Umtiti fits the bill.
After joining Barcelona in 2016 from Lyon, Umtiti went on to establish himself as one of the best centre-backs in the world, and he was crucial in France’s 2018 FIFA World Cup win. Since that summer, he’s made just 25 La Liga starts.
Despite his injury problems, the Frenchman is a proven talent at the highest level and he certainly has what it takes to propel the club to greater heights.
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A left-footed centre-back with solid ball-playing abilities, Umtiti would bring balance to Chelsea’s defence and could be the ideal partner for Rudiger.
At 26, he is entering the prime stages of his career and could reignite his club career at Chelsea after two poor seasons with Barcelona. He would undoubtedly bolster the Blues’ options at the back, whilst bringing competition within the squad.
If Umtiti manages to keep away his injury problems, he would be a good signing for Chelsea.