Manchester United Opinion: Why Man United must go for Samuel Umtiti?
According to a report from The Metro, Manchester United have begun talks with Barcelona for Samuel Umtiti. The Frenchman, 25, has missed large chunks of his three-year spell at Barcelona due to injuries, especially from knee problem last season.
He managed just 15 appearances across all competitions last term and with Clement Lenglet impressing alongside Gerard Pique, there is a big possibility that Umtiti will continue to be left on the Nou Camp bench next term.
For now, the centre-back has vowed to stay with the Catalan giants but some members of the club’s hierarchy would be open to selling him this summer because of his recurrent knee problems. That being said, should Manchester United take a gamble on Samuel Umtiti?
The Red Devils had a season to forget, as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men failed to qualify for the Champions League after finishing in sixth place in the 2018/19 campaign. They finished 32 points behind champions and cross-town rivals, Manchester City, who also won the League Cup and the FA Cup.
Seeing the gulf widening between the two Manchester clubs, Solskjaer has taken the responsibility of rebuilding his squad. It has been a slow summer transfer window for the Reds, with Daniel James being the only arrival so far.
And while Aaron Wan-Bissaka is edging closer to becoming the club’s second summer signing, Solskjaer should shift his focus in addressing the biggest problem of his squad—the central defence.
Apart from Victor Lindelof, none of Eric Bailly, Phil Jones, Chris Smalling or Marcos Rojo have done enough last season to justify a regular spot in the team. While Jones and Smalling blew hot and cold with their performances, Bailly and Rojo spent the majority of the 2018/19 campaign on the sidelines.
A new recruit is needed in central defence ahead of the new campaign and despite Umtiti’s injury problems, Solskjaer must take a punt on the stopper. Umtiti, who won La Liga with Barcelona and the World Cup with France in 2018, would be a significant upgrade on the likes Jones, Smalling and Rojo.
He might have struggled with fitness over the last 18 months but when fit, the Frenchman is a beast of a defender. Powerful and strong in the air, the 25-year-old is also quick along the ground and extremely comfortable with the ball at his feet.
might have struggled with fitness over the last 18 months but when fit, the Frenchman is a beast of a defender. Powerful and strong in the air, the 25-year-old is also quick along the ground and extremely comfortable with the ball at his feet.
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The ex-Lyon ace can initiate attacks from the back, so he’ll be the perfect partner for Lindelof at the heart of United’s defence. Umtiti is a world-class defender and his winning mentality plus leadership qualities would make a lot of difference in solving the Red Devils’ problems at the back.
Solskjaer cannot miss out on the opportunity to sign Umtiti, who could potentially be one of the most significant additions United make this summer to challenge the likes of Manchester City and Liverpool for the Premier League title.