How injury-prone is Man Utd and Arsenal transfer target Umtiti?

Stefan Bienkowski
Could Liverpool offer Umtiti a way out of Barcelona?

Arsenal and Manchester United are both on the hunt for new central defenders in this coming summer transfer window.

The London club have been strongly linked with a £50 million move for Brighton & Hove Albion defender Ben White.

Similarly, Man Utd have been linked with a move for Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane for some time and could end up spending a similar amount of money on the player.

However, according to reports in Spain, both Premier League giants have also turned their attention towards Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti.

The French talent is one of a number of first team players that is now for sale, as the Catalan giants look to raise money for Lionel Messi’s new contract and to battle their dire financial situation.

As such, Umtiti could end up costing very little this summer. But is the injury-prone defender worth a punt for either Arsenal or Man Utd?

Samuel Umtiti has spent a considerable amount of time off the pitch for Barca

Samuel Umtiti has spent a considerable amount of time off the pitch for Barca

How many games has Umtiti missed for Barca?

Umtiti made the move to Barcelona in 2016 when the club signed him from Lyon for a reported €25 million.

However, while the French defender has performed well for the Spanish giants on occasion, injury has certainly dogged his time in La Liga.

For example, in his first season at the club Umtiti picked up a stretched ligament injury in September and was then sidelined again a few months later with a hamstring injury, which meant he missed eight games in total that season.

Similarly, the following season saw the central defender pick up a muscle injury in early December which saw him miss a nine-game run and then another injury at the end of the season saw him miss out on a further three games. Unfortunately, Umtiti’s problems were just getting started at Barca.

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In the 2018/19 campaign the defender picked up two major knee injuries that ruled him out for a combined 28 games and then in 2019/20 he was out of action for another 10 games with a foot injury and then another knee injury.

Last season also proved to be difficult for the defender, as he spent much of the summer overcoming a calf injury only to then pick up two further knee injuries and then catch COVID, which ruled him out for a total of 24 games.

In total, Umtiti has missed an incredible 83 games through numerous injuries and ailments since joining the club in 2016. Over the course of five seasons, that means the central defender has missed on average 16.6 games per campaign. Which should perhaps worry any potential buyers this summer.