According to Mundo Deportivo, as relayed by The Express, Liverpool are among a host of clubs that are interested in signing the Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti.
Umtiti was initially a phenom, displaying two incredibly solid first campaigns at Barça. While he enjoyed a role of semi-prominence during the 16/17 campaign, it is in the next one where the French defender truly dominated the backline. He displayed an incredible range of passing, while also seeming virtually unbeatable as a defender.
The central defender showed an incredible balance between aggression, maturity, and coolness, which made him one of the best defenders. He even went on to win the World Cup with France, playing a starting role.
However, his success was short-lived, as a footballer’s worst enemy haunted him for the next 3 years. Injuries to the knee plagued him for years to come, abruptly halting his progression as a player. In fact, the cause of his recurring injuries was a full meniscus removal surgery he underwent at age 17, which caused the player a lot of problems.
Fast forward to 2021, the French defender has missed 83 games in four-and-a-half seasons, mostly due to injuries to his ever-problematic knee. Concurrently, the only way Umtiti even managed to stay fit throughout the 2018 FIFA World Cup was due to Cortisol injections; it was this forcefulness that caused the 27-year-old worsened problems over the next two seasons.
Umtiti has suffered yet another dismal season at the Catalan capital, becoming Koeman’s fifth favourite central defender, behind Pique, Lenglet, Araujo, and Mingueza. Additionally, Laporta’s board is reportedly looking for a transfer out for the World Cup winner.
A transfer to Liverpool is now on the cards and could suit both parties very well. While Liverpool have severely lacked in central defenders due to long term injuries to Joe Gomez and, more notably, Virgil Van Dijk, Barça have a considerably talented set of young defenders such as Mingueza, Araujo, and even the incoming Eric Garcia, all of whom will be on wages far lower than those which Umtiti enjoys.
We hope that Umtiti can find a club where he can both regain his fitness as well as secure a starting position, since his time at the Camp Nou seems over, barring a miracle return to form.