Transfer News

Samuel Umtiti: Former Barcelona and French defender returns home, joins Ligue 1 side Lille

Former Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti has joined French side LOSC Lille, coming on the back of a loan spell from Serie A side Lecce. The Barca outcast becomes the latest entrant in the list of stars who are departing the La Liga champions.

Umtiti to don Lille colors

Samuel Umtiti, once considered to be one of the brightest young talents in football, will sport the colors of Ligue 1 side Lille in the upcoming season. He was signed on the back of some classy performances in Lyon, where his strong and sturdy stature had paved way for his rock solid defense, thus considered to be a top target among several heavyweights. Ultimately, it was Barcelona who grabbed hold of the defender, signing him in 2016.

But, his luck could not favor him in his matches as he was often sidelined on the bench for the Spanish giants. Often injured, as a result, his injuries and misfortune gradually made him an outcast in the team. Struggling with injuries, he was loaned to Serie A side Lecce last season, and made 25 appearances for the Italian side in all competitions.

“The club that wanted me”

Umtiti could not live up to his expectations while playing for the La Liga champions, and with the rise of Araujo , Balde in the back line of Barcelona, it was difficult for the star to make way in the starting eleven. The 2018 World Cup winner with France, once famous for his trademark goal celebration by showcasing his swift moves, would look to weave his magic in the French league.

While signing for Lille and in the conference, he was heard saying, “Returning to France, logically I thought of Lyon but in the end I chose to go to a club that wanted me.” He is motivated to return to the starting eleven for his country, and returning to France might strengthen that opportunity. He said, “”I have already tasted the France team, experienced exceptional moments, obviously these are things that I want to relive.”

He rose through the ranks of Lyon, eventually winning the French Cup with the side in 2012. So, he might brace himself for a possible French return as he has not been in the side since 2019, owing to his injuries.

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