Friday, August 12, 2022

Barcelona Willing To Sell This French Defender This Summer: Should Koeman Cut Him Loose?

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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.

In a recent report, Mundo Deportivo stated that Barcelona are willing to sell Samuel Umtiti this summer. It is believed that the French defender is one of the players they are looking to cash in on during this summer transfer window (via Mundo Deportivo).

Umtiti’s Growing Frustrations At The Nou Camp

The 27-year-old endured an underwhelming campaign at Catalonia as he struggled to earn regular playing minutes under Ronald Koeman’s stewardship. Umtiti made 16 appearances for the Catalan giants last season, picking up two yellow cards in multiple competitions.

Most of the French defensive ace’s game time came off the bench which explains why he only averaged 0.4 tackles, 0.6 interceptions and 1.0 clearances per 90 minutes in La Liga and the UEFA Champions League. However, he was excellent when distributing possession from the back after completing 94.3% of his attempted passes in both those competitions (stats via whoscored).

At 27, Umtiti is currently playing at his prime, so he can benefit from switching clubs this summer in search of more playing minutes in the coming seasons. Plus, a change of scenery could be an ideal opportunity for him to make a fresh start away from Spanish football.

Barcelona willing to sell Umtiti this summer (Umtiti is seen in the picture)
Samuel Umtiti Barcelona, MAY 22, 2021 – Football / Soccer : Spanish La Liga Santander match between SD Eibar 0-1 FCBarcelona at the Estadio Municipal de Ipurua in Eibar, Spain. Noxthirdxpartyxsales PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxJPN 0118973338st

Should The Catalans Cut Umtiti Loose This Summer?

Umtiti can be a decent defender at the back when he is playing with confidence on the field. He can time his tackles well to make some important interceptions on the defensive end of the field and is not afraid to clear the danger when the opposition are on the front foot. Umtiti has a wealth of experience in French and Spanish football, and can read the game well from the back. Plus, he can pass the ball relatively well going forward.

However, the French sensation has struggled to prove his worth at the Nou Camp over the past few seasons. Furthermore, frequent injuries has not helped Umtiti’s cause in Spanish football. If the Yaunde-born talent can prove his fitness, he could still be a valuable contributor at the highest level.

At the moment, the Barca outcast is not a part of Koeman’s first team plans, so it is only fair to the player if the Catalans decide to cut him loose in this off-season. His current contract at Catalonia expires in the summer of 2023 but Barca should still priortise on cashing in on him this summer so that they can bring in a suitable replacement capable of playing a more prominent role in Koeman’s starting XI next season.

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