Why Manchester City should make a move for Samuel Umtiti in January
Manchester City are up and running in the new season, thrashing West Ham 5-0 at the London Stadium last weekend. The Cityzens welcome Tottenham for their first Premier League home game of the season today, hoping to build on the emphatic victory at East London.
The defending Premier League champions did bring in a couple of players in the summer to beef up their squad. Rodri has already impressed and is deemed as a long-term replacement for the ageing Fernandinho, while his fellow new signing Joao Cancelo is not far from featuring for City.
Pep Guardiola also wanted to sign a central defender following the departure of former skipper Vincent Kompany. The Sun claims he was interested in signing Harry Maguire from Leicester City but the England international turned down City’s offer to join their cross-town rivals Manchester United.
Furthermore, Eliaquim Mangala has ended his City nightmare by joining Valencia permanently earlier this month, leaving Guardiola with only John Stones, Aymeric Laporte and Nicolas Otamendi as options in central defence.
Back in July, the Daily Mail had claimed that Manchester City were interested in signing Barcelona centre-back Samuel Umtiti.
Samuel Umtiti, 25, only made 14 La Liga appearances last term for Barcelona after missing the last five months of the campaign with a knee problem.
Clement Lenglet had stepped up to partner Gerard Pique in his absence, leaving the Frenchman playing second-fiddle at Nou Camp after becoming an undisputed starter following his World Cup success.
With the 25-year-old defender falling down the pecking order under Ernesto Valverde, City should reignite their interest in Samuel Umtiti and sign him when the transfer window reopens in January.
Umtiti is one of the best centre-backs in the world. A commanding presence, the Frenchman is a real leader on the pitch and is excellent when it comes to playing out from the back, a trait that is essential in Guardiola’s system.
He’s a good header of the ball in both boxes and has a good turn of pace to recover himself from dangerous situations.
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Strong in the air and robust in the challenge, the ex-Lyon star seems to have everything to his game to succeed in the Premier League. Umtiti is 25 years old and has his best years ahead of him. He would be heading into his prime and would be one of City’s shrewdest recruits if he makes the move.
It’s difficult to replace Kompany at the Etihad stadium considering the Belgian’s experience, leadership skills and winning mentality. Having lost his place in the Barcelona team, Umtiti certainly has the qualities to succeed Kompany and hence, City must sign the French defender in January.