Samuel Umtiti’s strengths and weaknesses and why Chelsea transfer would make sense

Chelsea are reportedly interested in signing Barcelona centre-back Samuel Umtiti, who could be available this summer for around £44million.

The 26-year-old has struggled with injuries in recent times, starting just 21 La Liga games over the last two seasons.

But he did play a crucial role in France’s 2018 World Cup win, and he has previously helped Barcelona win the La Liga title in 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons, along with two Copa del Rey triumphs and success in the Supercopa de Espana twice.

He has previously been linked with a move away from Barcelona, with Chelsea’s Premier League rivals Arsenal named as potential suitors.

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Below, we take a look at the tactical reasons why Umtiti would be an excellent signing for Frank Lampard.

Proactive defensive actions would help keep a high tempo at Chelsea

What stands out most about Umtiti is his aggressive, front-foot approach to defending. The Frenchman prefers to step out and meet attackers, sharply closing down passes into feet and attacking the ball with gusto.

That is the ideal approach for a high-line, attack-minded side like Chelsea. Lampard needs proactive defenders to keep a high tempo to the Blues’ attacks, and so Umtiti’s tendency to come to the ball, use his strength to win it, and then play a forward pass could work well at Stamford Bridge.

It also means Umtiti can stamp out opposition counter-attacks before they build a head of steam. Chelsea are notoriously weak in the attack to defence transition, with opponents regularly breaking through a soft central midfield. Umtiti, stepping up to meet the ball, can put out fires in the crucial defensive midfield zone.

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