He’s been given the benefit of the doubt over the last few months, but Samuel Umtiti’s performance against Sevilla in the Copa del Rey semifinal first leg on Wednesday showed that his time at the Camp Nou was well and truly up.
The Frenchman has tried desperately to hang onto his centre-back position at Barcelona, but injuries have really taken their toll on a player who could, conceivably, claim he was amongst the world’s best defenders a few seasons ago.
Ever since he took to the decision not to have a knee injury operated on, things have gone from bad to worse.Although the club weren’t happy with the decision, there was little that they could do, but they have to take a hard line with Umtiti now.
In his current state, he is of no use to them whatsoever.
Easily beaten for the first goal at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, he inexplicably played every Sevilla player onside for the second, given that he was at least two yards behind his team-mates.
At this level, you can’t afford to make such basic mistakes and those, along with his lack of pace, have really begun to take their toll.
It won’t be long before Gerard Pique is fit enough to return to the first team, and it is a foregone conclusion that he’ll be first choice on the right-side of defence.
That’s a little harsh on Ronald Araujo who has been brilliant in his stead, but the youngster has plenty of time ahead of him in which to make his mark in the first team.
Clement Lenglet should be restored to the starting XI by Ronald Koeman, and there’s still Oscar Mingueza to think of too.
Although he’s not done as well as Araujo, neither has he disgraced himself, and will continue to be part of the first-team set up.
All of which leaves Umtiti with little option but to move elsewhere if he wants to get regular first-team football.
If Barca can insist on moving him on this summer, and making it clear that they won’t take no for an answer, they’ll save themselves a pretty penny in wages which, at this point, will be helpful.
Indeed, any of those players that are not the right fit for the club or are past their sell-by date have to go in the next window.
If the new president wants to be a success, tough decisions will have to be made.