Samuel Umtiti was once considered one of the best centre-backs in the world and he was highly regarded as the player to replace Gerard Pique in the upcoming years. His performance in 2018 was impeccable however, he pushed his body too much and reality soon came crashing down as he was plagued with injuries after injuries. Unable to find better replacements for Umtiti, the Catalans kept the player in their squad and hoped that he would make a miraculous return; however, that did not happen and the Blaugrana spent millions on the players’ salary and treatment.
Whenever Umtiti did make a rare appearance, the player failed to have any positive impact on the game and it was clear as day that the French defender was never going to regain his previous level of brilliance. The World Cup winner was not showing signs of improvement and he rarely ever played under Ronald Koeman. In order to get him off of the club’s payroll, Barca did try to loan him off last season and Benfica was one of the clubs that were interested in acquiring his services, the other one being a club from the Ligue 1. However, Umtiti opposed this move since neither of the two clubs were playing the Champions League.
Now things seem to have taken a rather different turn and it is Barcelona who is no longer in the Champions League but Benfica has made it past the group stages. The Lisbon-based club is still interested in him and is ready to pay around 10 million euros for him. At this point, it is easier for the Catalans to just sell the player rather than keep him in the club. He also happens to be one of the highest earners in the club and thus selling him would give the club a lot of room for bringing in other players who could have more of an impact on the team.
Should Barca keep or sell Umtiti?