Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti has been linked to a lot of clubs this summer. Overall, several Barca players should leave the club before the transfer window closes shut. However, one man who is absolutely safe is centre-back Clément Lenglet, relying upon whom the manager has decided to get rid of Umtiti.
Marca reports that the club has informed the French player that his job is safe and the board would not look to involve him in a swap deal for any other of their targets. As of now, it seems that the gaffer has him in his mind for all of his future plans.
The performance of Clément Lenglet
The 24-year-old joined the club in 2018 from Sevilla and has since risen up the ranks to cement his place in the first team. In his two seasons, he had made 42 appearances in the La Liga and partnered Gerard Piqué at the heart of the defence. With the veteran Spaniard being the only right-footer in the back-four, the Frenchman plies his trade on the left side of the back two.
What Lenglet can do brilliantly is throwing his body towards the ball and being a shield in front of the goalkeeper. There are hardly any players in the world who blocks as many shots on goal as the ex-Nancy man, making the keeper’s job much more comfortable. Also, this season the defender has made 2.9 clearances per match, thus making his importance evident.
Lenglet is also a great passer of the ball. His diagonal balls to the right side of the pitch are tremendously accurate and reach the feet of the wingers. On average, he has contributed to 4.2 long balls per game, a majority of which have fallen to the right-winger.
Much of Barca’s game-plan revolves around a slow build-up, requiring accuracy of short passes from the defenders as well. This term, the France international has completed 91.7% of his total attempted pass, which would please his manager immensely.
Can he be a long term player for Barca?
The Catalan club sees him as their man in the defence for the longest time possible, ahead of any other options. The performances of Umtiti have been inconsistent and injury-ridden. In that context, Lenglet has maintained a steady display for the side over the past couple of seasons and has slowly achieved the confidence of Setien. The manager has made it apparent that he is at the top of the pecking order, and so far, Lenglet has repaid the faith entrusted upon him.
Gerard Piqué had already reached 33, and it would not be long before the FIFA World Cup winner hangs his boots. The Cules need a stable performer for them in the central defensive position, and Lenglet can be the man. Sooner or later, Barca would have to search for a replacement of Pique and the duty of mentoring the newcomer could fall upon Lenglet.
Stats from Whoscored.