The French centre-back has been linked with a summer exit.
According to a report from Sport, Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti is keen on surviving at Camp Nou instead of leaving this summer. The Frenchman’s future is up in the air following the links with Arsenal and Napoli. Furthermore, the former Lyon man has lost his starting berth to his compatriot Clement Lenglet owing to recurring injuries. However, Umtiti has now decided to stay with Blaugrana and fight for his place.
Umtiti has suffered a turn around in the past two years from becoming the most reliable defender to a fringe player. Meanwhile, Barca had benefited from the services of Lenglet, who arrived from Sevilla in 2018. The French man quickly went on to establish a fruitful partnership with Gerard Pique in the defence. Ernesto Valverde, then Barcelona manager, had started Lenglet over Umtiti last season, where Barca ended up with La Liga trophy alone despite reaching the semi-finals and finals of Champions League and Copa del Rey.
However, under Quique Setien, Umtiti looked like the most favoured option as he started in all the major games. Regardless, the former Les Gones star looked clueless for the most part, and before things started to go worse, he has been restored to the bench thanks to another knee injury. The last game Umtiti took part was against Celta Vigo where Barca produced another stalemate. Unsurprisingly Umtiti was off-colour during the game.
Lenglet has since assumed the role of the left-sided centre-back and came up with goods for the remaining games. Barca are also said to be working on Lenglet’s renewal as they cite him as a valuable player for the future. Due to his excellent form in the Blaugrana shirt, Lenglet has also earned a much-deserved call up to the France national team. He has made seven appearances so far, making his debut last year.
Barca were able to catch up a glimpse of Ronald Araujo’s talent this season. The Barcelona B team centre-back made his way into the senior team this year and was impressive on the first sight.
However, the Uruguayan centre-back has suffered an injury with Barca B in the playoffs. With Umtiti and Araujo sidelined probably for the remainder of the season, Barca has been left with Pique and Lenglet as the viable options in the defence for the Champions League games.
The Blaugrana will face Napoli in the UCL round of 16-second leg this weekend with the aggregate score 1-1.
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