The former Lyon man, 26, has only featured 5 times in the league for Barcelona this season. Umtiti is one of France’s most successful players, having won the World Cup with his country in 2018 and several trophies with Barcelona, including two La Liga titles.
However, he has found opportunities hard to come this season due to the injury setbacks he endured and Eldesmarque (h/t Express) suggest that the Spanish giants are keen on selling their star defender as soon as possible.
The report adds that the 26-year-old is on Arsenal’s radar as they are in desperate need of an established centre-back and Mikel Arteta would be looking to bolster his squad this month.
The Gunners are 10th in the league table after recovering from one of their worst starts to a season in their history. They were vulnerable under Unai Emery and Arteta’s appointment as the manager seems to have changed things around for the club.
Despite losing to Chelsea, the Gunners made a bright start to 2020 by defeating Manchester United and Leeds United in the year’s first two games.
But the fact that they have conceded 30 goals in 21 league games doesn’t read well for the club, which is hoping to return to the Champions League at the earliest and therefore, some adjustments must be made.
The Gunners have been defensively poor with the likes of David Luiz, Sokratis Papastathoupoulos and Shkodran Mustafi failing to perform to the expected standards of the Premier League, and that has left the Emirates faithful in shatters.
Rob Holding has been forced to deal with his injuries for the majority of the season and he hasn’t got the chance to make an impact for the team. On the other hand, Calum Chambers has been a rare bright spot in defence.
Now that Chambers has also ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament, the Gunners are left with no proper backup. Summer recruit William Saliba would be joining them for next season only, and it is clear that Arteta should find an immediate solution to the defensive woes.
Having said that, the manager must look to rope in Samuel Umtiti, who has fallen out of the picture at Barcelona this month. The experienced campaigner has appeared over 100 times for the Catalan club and has enjoyed huge success in his time there.
He had formed a brilliant partnership with Gerard Pique at the heart of the defence before succumbing to injuries, but is still rated as one of the best defenders in the world.
Umtiti’s defensive prowess on and off the ball can never be doubted as he has all the qualities of a modern-day stopper. He would surely walk straight into Arsenal’s starting XI ahead of the current bunch. He is at the right age to prove his worth in the Premier League.
At 26, the Frenchman can be seen as a long-term prospect as he still has many years left in him. He could be key to Arteta’s solution in steadying the backline and if Umtiti continues without any injury issues, he’ll be a fantastic signing for the Gunners.
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