Premier League opinion: Who should win the race for Samuel Umtiti
According to reports in the Metro, Samuel Umtiti is up for sale and two of the Premier League’s biggest clubs Manchester United and Arsenal are interested in his signature.
The World Cup winner has been one of the outstanding defenders in the world for the past couple of years but has had a problem with his left knee, which has been a cause for concern.
He missed most of last season due to an injury to it and saw Clement Lenglet being preferred to him in a lot of games after the former Sevilla man really impressed in a partnership with Gerrard Pique.
Gerrard Pique also enjoyed one of his best seasons in recent years and isn’t looking like he’s slowing down after retiring from his national team.
Pique will be more than capable of putting in similar performances at the highest level, leaving Umtiti’s place in the first-team in doubt.
Umtiti is too good a player to be sitting on the bench. The French international is one of the best ball-playing centre-backs in the world and is a good one-versus-one defender. He is athletic and has great recovery pace.
Arsenal and Manchester United would be foolish to not consider him as an option to strengthen their defence. He would immediately become the best centre-back at either club but let’s figure out who needs him more:
Arsenal have been desperate for defensive reinforcements for years. With Laurent Koscielny not looking any younger, Rob Holding recovering from a serious injury and Mustafi looking as hapless as ever; Samuel Umtiti would be an enormous improvement on that backline.
He’s also completely fit in with Unai Emery’s principles of starting play from the back. This is something that he couldn’t completely achieve last season and will be able to do so this season.
United conceded the highest number of goals they’ve ever conceded in a premier league season in 2018/19. The United backline has shown periods of consistency but almost always have a period where they end up conceding a lot of silly goals.
Umtiti would be a great partner to Victor Lindelof and would add some personality to the backline.
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Both teams could use a player with the attributes of Umtiti but this would, perhaps, be a better fit for Arsenal than it would for United.
United are looking for a leader at the back more than a player with good attributes.
Umtiti would immediately be in sync with Unai Emery’s style, hence, the Gunners would be the ideal destination.