Why Manchester United should make a move for Samuel Umtiti
According to Mundo Deportivo (h/t Express), long time Manchester United target, Samuel Umtiti has been put up for sale by Barcelona. Along with Umtiti, the Catalans have put four other players namely Ousmane Dembele, Junior Firpo, Carles Alena and Martin Brathwaite in the market.
Ronald Koeman is slowly forming Barca in his own way and the above-mentioned players find themselves on the fringes.
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.
Manchester United can take a gamble on Umtiti
As Demba Ba ran straight through Manchester United’s half unchallenged and scored Istanbul Basaksehir’s first goal, one could be forgiven for thinking what on Earth was happening. Manchester United’s defenders, all of them, were in the opposition half as the goalkeeper’s clearance found Ba and he made no mistake.
However, such befuddling defending has been a common occurrence at Manchester United for a while now. The club are yet to find their best defensive combination. The team was crying out for a new centre-back in the summer window, yet, none arrived. Injury problems aside, Umtiti is a terrific option for Manchester United in the market.
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The 26-year-old Frenchman can offer quality to a sluggish United backline and pair up well with Maguire. Umtiti was once one of the best emerging centre-backs in Europe.
While injuries have taken some toll, the quality is still there. This is one gamble that Manchester United have to take in January. They absolutely need a new centre-back and Umtiti could be a very realistic target they can actually sign.