Premier League Opinion: 2 Premier League destinations for Samuel Umtiti

Samuel Umtiti is a French World Cup-winning centre-half, who currently plies his trade for Ernesto Valverde’s Barcelona side in La Liga. He is part of a high-quality team that boasts some of the best players in the world across various positions.

Umtiti was a youth product of the world-famous Lyon academy. He made his way up the ranks at the Ligue 1 side as a teenager after he joined them from local club Menival FC all the way back in 2001.

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Since joining the Lyon ranks in 2010 though, he development through the various youth levels at the club were quite commendable. He earned himself a professional contract by his 2nd season at the club and it was in the Ligue 1 that he really announced himself as a top player.

The Frenchman made a whopping 170 appearances for Lyon in more than 5 years at the club and he even managed to find the back of the net on 5 occasions during this tenure as well. His defensive displays have often been dependable while he does offer a certainly degree of composure in the final third as well. 

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A full French international, the 25-year-old really moved up into the spotlight at the recent World Cup where he was a regular. At club level though, Umtiti has found it hard to come to the fore in squad filled with superstar players like Sergi Roberto and Gerard Pique. 

His numbers for the club this season display this quite clearly as he has only featured in 11 league games from the start of the season. While he is a key part of the national set-up, the lack of game-time is bound to frustrate any player and a move away could be the perfect solution. 

As suggested in a recent report by The Sun, Here are the two Premier League clubs keen on bringing Umtiti to England:

Manchester United

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s searches for a trustworthy centre-half hasn’t been kept a very good secret and Samuel Umtiti could spot right into the vacant role at Old Trafford. Although Manchester United boast good defensive numbers, the presence of average players like Phil Jones and Chris Smalling have certainly hurt this historic club. 

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Umtiti’s physical presence in the box will be a massive asset to United who certainly haven’t been too good at defending crosses even after Ole took charge. Given his recent exploits in Russia, he is guaranteed to be a hit and United will do well to snatch him from under the Gunners’ noses. 

Arsenal

The Gunners Under Unai Emery have been transformed into a force to be reckoned with but, as was seen in their 1-0 defeat of Watford in recent weeks, the addition of a couple of solid centre-halves who are immune to individual mistakes would be a massive coup. 

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Umtiti has the right physical attributes to fit in at the Emirates while his pace and positioning will also suit the Premier League’s rhythm and intensity. His French connection with Arsenal captain Laurent Koscielny will certainly come as a massive boost as the Emirates could finally be where Umtiti showcases his full potential.

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