Manchester City Opinion: Why the Cityzens should go for Samuel Umtiti?
According to a report from Leicester Mercury, Premier League champions Manchester City are interested in signing Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti.
Manchester City are believed to have shifted their attention from Harry Maguire after struggling to convince Leicester City to part ways with the England international.
It is thought that Pep Guardiola’s City could look to Barcelona instead, with the Spanish champions ready to listen to offers for Samuel Umtiti and want at least €50m. Juventus and Manchester United are also interested in the France international but neither has followed through with a bid.
With Umtiti made available by Barcelona, Manchester City cannot let this opportunity pass by and should go all out to sign the central defender.
City are yet to replace their former skipper Vincent Kompany, who left Etihad to become player-manager at Anderlecht.
Kompany became an icon at the club after joining from Hamburg in 2008, winning four Premier League titles, two FA Cups and four League Cups during his 11-year stay. The Belgian’s departure has left a huge void in City’s squad which Guardiola must address quickly.
Guardiola preferred Aymeric Laporte and John Stones in central defence last season but with the latter underperforming and the likes of Nicolas Otamendi and Eliaquim Mangala keen to leave the club this summer, City’s priority should be signing a new central defender. In that regard, Umtiti would be a solid fit at the Etihad.
Umtiti, 25, has been first-choice at Barcelona since his arrival three years ago but saw his 2018/19 season disrupted by injury. He only played 15 times and despite being available since the end of February was unable to oust Clement Lenglet from his place in the Ernesto Valverde’s starting XI.
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When he’s at his best, the Frenchman is not only a physical and intelligent defender, he helps his team build their attacks from deep with smart distributions.
He is adept at passing between the lines and facilitating the backline with his laser-guided passes. The 25-year-old has a good turn of pace and is an excellent reader of the game.
A real leader at the back, Umtiti’s qualities would be an ideal asset to Guardiola’s possession-based style of play.
He is more than capable of bolstering City’s defence ahead of the new campaign, whilst filling the void left by Kompany. However, it will be crucial for the French centre-half to maintain his fitness.