Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti has suffered another injury setback and with this turn of events, it’s time that the concerns over his future at Barcelona be taken more seriously.
Prior to Barcelona’s Champions League match against Slavia Prague, Umtiti picked up another injury in a frustrating turn of events for all Barcelona fans who thought that this time, he was close to making a full recovery.
The 25-year old World Cup winner suffered a bruised left knee in the training session leading up to the Champions League fixture as reported by Sport. At the time of this post, there is no telling when Umtiti will return to action for Barcelona.
Umtiti has battled this knee problem for quite a long time now and even made confessions recorded live on video that he stressed the knee last year, which paid off for the Frenchman as he ended up with World Cup glory. However, the injuries have now taken a toll on his career as he has seen his place usurped in both the France national team squad and the Barcelona first team by Clement Lenglet.
The defender only made a return to La Liga action last week against Eibar, where he was one of the best performers for Barcelona on the pitch. Per WhoScored, he made nine clearances and three interceptions while completing 92.7% of his passes including one long ball from the defence into attack. This performance gave fans hope that the Umtiti we all have come to love is back and good to go, until the injury struck again.
This is Umtiti’s second injury of the season. However, the injury problems have not stopped the links to other clubs which pops up in the news every now and then, and with this turn of events, it might finally be time for Valverde and co to let the Frenchman go. Barcelona have become galactico spenders and will need to recover some of the funds they have spent in the past. Selling Umtiti, despite all his quality might be the best option available.
It’s important to note that the poor start to Barcelona’s season is largely due to their biggest names all picking up injuries at the start of the season, and the club’s defence, in particular, have been lacklustre, having already conceded plenty of goals across all competitions.
The board have noted this as, according to a report, they have turned their sights to Serie A duo Stefan de Vrij and Milan Skriniar. De Vrij was linked to Barcelona during the summer window but with no success.
Selling a world-beater like Umtiti who is still in his prime doesn’t look like good business, but Barcelona may suffer from letting him stay for too long – especially as he keeps putting off the one-off surgery that will fix everything.
If Barcelona eventually choose to go for the Serie A duo, they will not be missing much in terms of defensive quality as all three defenders have similar attributes, as can be seen from their graphs above. In reserve, youngsters Ronald Araujo and Jean-Clair Todibo are ever ready to go and are as sure footed as the experienced defenders ahead of them.
Barcelona’s loss will be any club’s gain however, if they choose to let Umtiti go. And at this point, it may be best for the Frenchman’s career as it seems the medical team of the club is coddling him.
It is high time the board pays more attention to this situation and consider letting the Frenchman go for balance to be restored to the team’s shaky defence.