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Samuel Umtiti is coming to FC Barcelona to add to the depth in Luis Enrique’s defence. The 22-year-old Frenchman of Cameroonian origin has joined from Olympique Lyon, where he has been a first team regular in recent seasons, helping the team to second place in Ligue 1 last season with 30 appearances (38 in all competitions) and scoring one goal.
A product of the club’s own academy, Umtiti was promoted to the first team in 2011/12, and since then has played 170 games, with five goals and two assists.
The Frenchman brings a wide range of new options to the Barça defence, where he will be able to play in the middle or on the left. He’s strong, if not especially tall (1.81m), and tends to make his presence especially noted in dead ball situations. He has a powerful kick both for clearances and shooting.
Many of Umtiti’s goals come from outside the area, often following through on previous moves. And despite his youth, he is a natural leader, and even wore the captain’s armband on occasions at his previous club.
Debut at the Euros
He has played for France at every age level, including the World U20 Cup winning team of 2013. Didier Deschamps named Umtiti in his squad for Euro 2016, and the new Barça signing won his first full international cap in the quarter final match against Iceland. He performed brilliantly in the 5-2 win, and went on to appear for France in the semi-final defeat of Germany and in the grand final, which his side lost 1-0 to Portugal.
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