Recently reports started to do the rounds that Arsenal will come after Barcelona’s centre back Samuel Umtiti. However, even though the Barcelona defender struggled for game time last season, he has decided that he would like to stay at the Camp Nou.
In an interview to RTL France as cited by Football.London, Umtiti said, ”I have a contract, I feel happy in Barcelona. I had a complicated season, but I will still be at Barcelona next season.” It’s clear that the World Cup winner still wants to prove himself at Barcelona after he lost his place in the starting eleven to fellow countryman Clement Lenglet last season.
Umtiti’s woes from last season
Lenget did a fine job, but he struggled when he was presented with tougher challenges. With no news about Valverde’s sacking, Umtiti will have to work extremely hard to get back his place as Valverde has clearly shown that he prefers Lenglet alongside Gerard Pique.
Umtiti also struggled with injuries, and he managed to make just 14 appearances in La Liga last season starting only one game. However, it could be because of injuries and the fact that he was out from football for so long that the gaffer didn’t select him even when he was available.
Why should Valverde be happy to have him?
The former Lyon defender is still 25, and he should look to establish himself again next season. Gerard Pique’s career seems to be on a downward trajectory, and he is already 32. Therefore a centre back place could be vacated in a few years if Umtiti sticks around at Barcelona. Even the Catalan giants will have big hopes from him for the future, and it is a good decision for everyone involved at the club that Umtiti is staying at Camp Nou.
Umtiti already played a significant role in France’s World Cup winning squad last year as he was considered as one of the best in the business until injuries brought him down. The Frenchman is known for his immaculate reading of the game and marking of players.
He often likes to sit tight on his man, and he doesn’t give them any breathing space to operate in. Physically too, he is strong though he is sometimes guilty of play-acting. He is also known for his short passing ability which is the reason why the defender slotted in well in the Barcelona system. The Catalan side would be delighted that the centre back is willing to stay and fight for his place after he struggled in the last season with injuries.
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