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Chelsea transfer makes sense for Samuel Umtiti despite Arsenal dilemma

Barcelona are reportedly willing to offload Samuel Umtiti this summer in order to free up funds in their transfer budget and the Premier League appears a likely destination for the defender.

The 26-year-old moved to Barcelona for €25m from Lyon during the European Championships in 2016 and has won six trophies during his time in Catalonia.

However, after a promising first couple of seasons at Camp Nou, Umtiti has encountered numerous injury problems and has lost his place to French compatriot Clement Lenglet.

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The La Liga club are looking to recoup around £44m for Umtiti and both Arsenal and Chelsea have been credited with an interest in him.

So, which London club would best suit Umtiti’s talents?

Although Chelsea are fourth in the Premier League, their top-four aspirations have been hampered by their defensive deficiencies. Frank Lampard’s side have shipped a colossal 39 goals – a total only worsened in the top half of the table by Tottenham and Burnley (both on 40).

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Part of the issue for Chelsea’s defensive vulnerabilities is inconsistency in selection: of the club’s four senior centre backs, none have started more than 70% of the club’s Premier League matches.

Antonio Rudiger, widely-regarded as the club’s most influential defender, has missed three months of the campaign with a groin problem.

Another potential issue is the club’s lack of a left-sided central defender with Rudiger, Kurt Zouma, Andreas Christensen and Fikayo Tomori, all right-footed.

Antonio Rudiger, Kurt Zouma and Fikayo Tomori celebrate Chelsea’s 2-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur.
(Image: Michael Regan/Getty Images)

That has caused issues when Lampard has experimented with a back three as Chelsea have lacked a player able to bring the ball or distribute it effectively from that side.

Arsenal have…

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