Why Barcelona star Samuel Umtiti would be a great signing for Everton
According to Mundo Deportivo (h/t Daily Mail), Everton have out-of-favour Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti in their sights. Barcelona are keen to get Umtiti’s £75,000-a-week wages off their books and even willing to reduce their asking price to a meagre £10.7million. Such drastic measures are being taken as a part of Barcelona’s cost-cutting spree to ease the financial impact of COVID.
Born in Cameroon, Samuel Umtiti migrated to France at a young age and began his professional career with Lyon back in 2012. He gradually went on to establish himself as one of the best young central defenders in France, registering 170 appearances for Lyon before earning a move to Barcelona in the summer of 2016.
Umtiti featured prominently during his first couple of seasons at Camp Nou, playing a key role in the Catalan giants’ triumphant 2017-18 La Liga campaign. However, he has had a torrid time with injuries over the past 18 months, having spent more time on the treatment table than on the pitch.
The 26-year-old has made only 27 league appearances for Barcelona over the last two seasons due to his repeated struggles with injuries. Umtiti’s poor fitness record has seen Clement Lenglet establish himself as the club’s first-choice central defender alongside Gerard Pique.
A regular of the French national team, Umtiti has made a total of 31 appearances for Les Bleus and won the FIFA World Cup in 2018.
Everton should take a chance on Samuel Umtiti
After an early-season blitz where the Toffees collected an impressive 13 points from a possible 15, you could forgive Everton fans for being a tad bit optimistic. Yet as 5 more games have gone, the club have managed to add one more win to that tally and a familiar sense of disappointment has started to creep in.
They have already conceded 17 goals in 10 league games so far and even the return of the promising Mason Holgate has not helped. Yerry Mina and Michael Keane haven’t exactly lit up the team with their performances either.
Injury problems aside, Umtiti is a terrific option for Everton in the market, especially at the price he is being offered at. The 27-year-old Frenchman can offer quality to a sluggish Everton backline and pair up well with Holgate or Godfrey. Umtiti was once one of the best emerging centre-backs in Europe.
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While injuries have taken some toll, the quality is still there. This is one gamble that Everton have to take in January. They could use a new centre-back and Umtiti is a very realistic target they can look to sign.