Comparing Umtiti and Sokratis – Why The Barcelona Man Would Be The Ideal Candidate For Manchester United
Following the disappointing performances of Phil Jones and Chris Smalling this season, Manchester United are apparently looking for a big name defender in the upcoming summer transfer window.
The Red Devils are being hugely linked with a move for Tottenham star Toby Alderweireld but that being said, European champions Real Madrid are also keen to secure the services of the Belgian, meaning it would be difficult for United to sign Alderweireld in the summer.
However, according to reports, Manchester United have shown fresh interest in Borussia Dortmund defender Sokratis as well as FC Barcelona’s Samuel Umtiti. Both the players have emerged as reliable men for their respective teams in the last couple of years, but which one of them is better suited to Manchester United?
Let’s take a look closer look at each of these two defensive targets for Manchester United and conclude as to which one is a better fit for the club.
FC Barcelona star Samuel Umtiti has been one of the best defenders in Spain this season. After a somewhat tranquil debut season, the Frenchman has been a huge beneficiary of the fact that Barcelona got rid of Javier Mascherano and Jeremy Mathieu, which has helped Umtiti get more game time this season.
Under new coach Ernesto Valverde, the 24-year-old has emerged as one of the most polished defenders in European football. He has built a strong and formidable defensive partnership with Gerard Pique, which has helped Barcelona stay on top for almost the entirety of the season.
Known for his unmatched physical prowess, Umtiti is a no-nonsense defender who hardly ever takes any unnecessary risks. Alongside a more technical defender Gerard Pique, Samuel Umtiti has adapted to the role of a sweeping defender, whose dogged defensive ability helps him remain solid throughout the game.
His passing has also improved in recent years, largely thanks to Barcelona’s possession-based football. In fact, the Frenchman acquires a super impressive pass accuracy of 92%, which is even better than his defensive partner Gerard Pique.
As per reports, Manchester United are willing to activate Umtiti’s €60m release clause, meaning he’d be fairly expensive for a defender.
Sokratis, on the other hand, is a much cheaper alternative compared to Samuel Umtiti but that’s however, not to undermine his impressive defensive prowess.
The Borussia Dortmund defender has found real success at the Signal Iduna Park since joining the club back in 2013. Following his move from Werder, he dethroned Neven Subotic as the preferred partner alongside Mats Hummels while also emerging as a real leader in the backline, especially after the departure of Hummels in 2016.
The Greek international has appeared as the stand-in captain for Borussia Dortmund for the most part of this season, largely due to the frequent injuries to captain Marco Reus and vice-captain Marcel Schmelzer.
Manchester United are understood to be at the head of the queue, although Chelsea are also keen to secure his services this summer.
While Sokratis of Borussia Dortmund is definitely the cheaper option for Manchester United, splashing the cash on Samuel Umtiti might be a logical decision, considering the fact that the Greek international has really struggled to impose his authority this season.
Overall, Samuel Umtiti is definitely a better all-around defender, unlike Sokratis, whose passing ability is completely atrocious along with his inability to mark players inside the box.