Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Update On Everton’s Pursuit Of This La Liga Defender: Will He Be A Good Signing For The Toffees?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

Sport has recently provided an update on Everton‘s pursuit of Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti. It has been revealed that the Toffees have already launched an enquiry about the Catalans centre-back who could be open for a winter departure from the Nou Camp as long as he receives an offer to join ‘a good sports project’ (via Sport).

Umtiti’s Growing Frustrations In Spanish Football

The 27-year-old has only made one appearance for Barca this season which came against Juventus earlier this week when he came on to feature as a substitute at the hour mark. He did well to put a stop to Juve’s goal-scoring but still ended up suffering a 3-0 defeat with his teammates at the Nou Camp.

The Yaunde-born central defender has been out for a long time with a serious knee injury after playing a sporadic role at Catalonia in the previous campaign. Umtiti featured in 18 matches for Barca in the last term, securing six yellow cards and 1316 minutes of playing time in the process on all fronts.

Despite his minutes’ restrictions at the Nou Camp, the former Ligue 1 defensive ace did well to give a good account of himself last season when he averaged 0.8 tackles, 1.7 interceptions and 2.5 clearances per 90 minutes in La Liga. He hardly threw away possession when distributing the ball out from the back as evident from his pass completion rate of 92.2% in the Spanish top tier (stats via whoscored).

Update on Everton's pursuit of Samuel Umtiti who is seen in the picture
Samuel Umtiti of FC Barcelona looks on during the Liga match between FC Barcelona and Getafe CF at Camp Nou on February 15, 2020, in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Eric Alonso/Getty Images)

What Will The Catalans Squad Player Bring To Goodison Park?

When Umtiti is playing with confidence and vigour on the field, he can be a commanding presence inside his half. He can use his strong 1.82m frame to make some essential clearances at the back when required. The injury-prone Barca defender even possesses good defensive awareness and is proficient at winning the ball back for his team.

However, the Frenchman has been plagued by injuries during his time with the Catalans. Hence, he should consider making a move to another club in search of a fresh start when the transfer window commences at the start of next month.

Will Umtiti Be A Good Signing For The Merseyside Club?

Carlo Ancelotti’s project at Goodison Park could appeal to Umtiti as he looks to rediscover his old form in the coming seasons. Everton have played some of the best football in the Premier League this season, so a ball-playing defender like Umtiti could thrive playing in Ancelotti’s playing style at the Merseyside club.

However, the French sensation can expect to face stiff competition from Yerry Mina, Michael Keane, Ben Godfrey and Mason Holgate in the race to secure a regular spot in Ancelotti’s first-team. All in all, Umtiti could be a shrewd signing for the Toffees but only if he is available on a cut-price deal. Otherwise, his poor injury-record makes him a risky option for Ancelotti to consider in January.

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