Pep Guardiola is apparently not happy with his squad depth despite shattering records on a weekly basis in the Premier League. With the January transfer window now open, latest reports claim that the Catalan has set his sights on Samuel Umtiti, a relatively new player acquired by his former club, Barcelona.
Samuel Umtiti has given Camp Nou a breath of fresh air with his assured performances after he settled down following a slightly nervous opening spell. The French centre-back has seamlessly replaced Javier Mascherano in the starting lineup. Though Umtiti is currently sidelined due to a hamstring issue, Ernesto Valverde is keen to keep hold of his centre-back.
However, with the attraction of the Premier League and the chance to work under Pep in a winning setup, can they really hold on to him?
Importance of Umtiti
Samuel Umtiti has formed an enviable partnership with Gerard Pique at the heart of the defence.
The Frenchman has a calm head and hardly looks shaky on the ball. He holds his nerves in the most difficult of situations and is adept at making passes. Umtiti is safe and assured in possession and is physically imposing inside the box.
He is quite aware of his game and knows his strengths and weaknesses which allows him to cut down on errors and helps in improving his game.
Man City bound?
Vincent Kompany’s constant injury worries have left Guardiola frustrated and it is inevitable that Manchester City would look for a centre-back soon. And as we saw with John Stones’ injury a while back, City cannot really rely on their current roster of defensive players. It is quite clear that Pep Guardiola doesn’t fully trust Mangala and despite the Frenchman’s recent improved displays, he is likely to be sold given that a suitable bid comes in for him.
But any centre-back joining City will have to prepare himself to warm the bench too. Guardiola often rotates his backline and a move to Etihad can see Samuel Umtiti lose out on regular first-team minutes. Right now, the duo of Stones and Oamendi is the preferred choice and both have been imperious this season especially the Argentinian. But with City still chasing the quadruple, Pep will dearly love to have a player of Umtiti’s stature as early as possible and hence a January move for the player is pretty much on the cards.