Arsenal signing this world-class £24.6m Barcelona star would be a huge statement of intent from Unai Emery – opinion

Arsenal opinion: Emery signing Umtiti would be a statement of intent

The Metro has reported that Arsenal are all set to battle Manchester United for Barcelona superstar Samuel Umtiti. Unai Emery is looking for defensive reinforcements and with Barcelona open to a move for the Frenchman (Calciomercato), Umtiti seems to be his man.

The Metro has further reported that the Catalan giants are in advance negotiations with Ajax star Matthijs de Ligt. Easily among the best centre-backs in the world, Umtiti has had a fantastic couple of seasons, winning the La Liga, the FIFA World Cup and two Spanish Super Cups.

Despite his issues with injuries, the 25-year-old has been in exceptional form and is one of the many reasons why Barcelona are on top of the La Liga table.

The fact that the Catalan giants are interested in selling him makes no sense. But if they are interested in letting the Frenchman go (Calciomercato), it’s a move that Arsenal have to make.

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Previously linked with a move for the 25-year-old in 2015 (Metro), nothing ever materialised and Umtiti left for Barcelona a year later for £24.6m.

Since then, the Frenchman has grown leaps and bounds, filling his trophy cabinet rapidly. It’s that winning mentality that Arsenal need more than anything and combined with Umtiti’s defensive nuance, he would be a sensational addition.

His strength and surprising agility make him a great fit for the Premier League and his tactical understanding will suit Unai Emery. The former PSG and Sevilla boss likes his centre-backs to hit the ground running.

The fact that he is a ball playing centre-back makes him the ying to Sokratis’ yang at the heart of defence. The 30-year-old is an aggressor who loves defending, while Umtiti would be the perfect man to replace Laurent Koscielny.

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33 years old, Koscielny has struggled with injuries in recent years and that has played a part in Arsenal’s downfall into the Europa League.

But under Unai Emery, things look like they are changing and for a club in a transition phase, sitting in third place above Tottenham, Manchester United and Chelsea is not bad at all.

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There are few defenders as good as Samuel Umtiti in the world and one just happens to be named Virgil Van Dijk. However, while the Dutchman is out of Arsenal’s reach, the Frenchman isn’t and it is a move that Arsenal really have to make in the near future.