FC Barcelona – La Liga: Umtiti will build up fitness with Barcelona B

FC Barcelona – La Liga Frenchman hasn’t played since June

Barcelona player Samuel Umtiti.
Barcelona player Samuel Umtiti.
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Ahead of Barcelona’s Champions League match with Ferencvaros, Ronald Koeman reflected on the case of Samuel Umtiti and it has been determined that the French defender will build up his fitness with Barcelona B.

Having not played since June, the former Lyon defender is looking to rebuild his career at the Camp Nou, which has been totally derailed by knee injuries.

Umtiti will play for Barcelona B tomorrow, he is close to returning,” Koeman explained in his press conference on Tuesday.

Dest, Busquets and Umtiti

The Dutch coach doesn’t wish to take risks with a player who has suffered so badly with fitness complaints over the past two years.

The Frenchman wants to return to the senior team, but he must prove his fitness by playing for the subsidiary team, something that is actually quite common in other leagues.

Koeman would welcome Umtiti getting through this match without any trouble as his defensive injury problems are beginning to mount.

Gerard Pique is a long-term absentee, whilst Ronald Araujo is also injured at this juncture, but this hasn’t had an impact on Koeman’s decision with Umtiti.

Barcelona consider the defender to be on the market, mainly because of his high salary, but his contract doesn’t expire until 2023 and this makes the situation problematic. Furthermore, he hasn’t shown any inclination to depart the Camp Nou either.

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Barcelona Offer Key Updates on Ter Stegen, Umtiti Fitness

Marc-Andre ter Stegen


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Barcelona offered key updates on the fitness of goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen and center-back Samuel Umtiti on Thursday.

Ter Stegen is yet to feature for Barcelona this season after going under the knife in August to repair a knee injury. However, the Germany international was back in training for the first time on Thursday.

Umtiti also took part in some of the session as he bids to return from knee trouble. The Frenchman is also yet to feature in 2020-21 but is closing in on a comeback.

Barcelona players were back on the training ground on Thursday after an important Champions League win over Juventus in Turin. Ronald Koeman’s side return to action in La Liga on Saturday against Alaves.

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Ter Stegen Still Key for Barcelona

News Ter Stegen is closing in a return to full fitness will be a big boost for Barcelona fans. The 28-year-old has become a key player for the Catalan giants and is viewed as one of Europe’s best goalkeepers.

Barca recently moved to secure Ter Stegen’s future at the club. The stopper has signed a contract extension at the Camp Nou that runs until 2025. His buyout clause is set at an eye-popping €500 million.

Ter Stegen is expected to slot straight back into the starting XI when fully fit, taking over from deputy Neto. The Brazilian has proven an able back-up in Ter Stegen’s absence but should drop back down to the bench.


Outcast Umtiti Hoping For Second Chance

Meanwhile, Umtiti will be hoping he can force his way into Koeman’s thinking after a tough time with injuries. The Frenchman is no longer a guaranteed starter at the Camp Nou and has slipped way down the pecking order.

Gerard Pique, Clement Lenglet, and 21-year-old Ronald Araujo are now Barca’s first three central defensive options, while Koeman has also been keeping tabs on Barca B defender Oscar Mingueza and included the youngster in his Champions League squad.

Umtiti looks to have his work cut out to play regularly at Barca again, although he did tell Canal Football Club in a recent interview that he is not interested in leaving the Camp Nou, as reported by Sport.

I don’t see myself at any club than Barca. I’ve been pretty clear about that with everyone. Lyon is my club, my city. They were the team that gave me the chance to play in Europe, at Barca and in the national team. There were conversations with Lyon this summer, but there was nothing in concrete. The last two years have been the worst of my career. I’ve never worked so hard. I need to make up for lost time.

Yet the Frenchman could face even more competition for a place in the team

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Key Defender Hands Barcelona Clasico Fitness Boost

Jordi Alba


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Jordi Alba has handed Barcelona a fitness boost ahead of Saturday’s La Liga clash with Real Madrid at the Camp Nou. The left-back returned to training on Thursday after being sidelined with a hamstring injury.

The 31-year-old has not featured since hobbling off in Barcelona’s 1-1 draw with Sevilla, missing the games against Getafe in La Liga and Ferencvaros in the Champions League.

New signing Sergino Dest has filled in for Alba during his absence and has made a strong start to his Barcelona career. The 19-year-old’s preferred position is on the right side of the defense, but he has already shown he’s comfortable on the opposite flank.

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Will Alba Play?

Alba could now make his return to action against Real Madrid, although there will be a discussion between “the player, Ronald Koeman and the club’s medical staff” as to whether he should feature, according to Marca’s Luis F. Rojo.

The final decision seems set to be made by manager Koeman after the team’s final training session before El Clasico on Friday. Yet the Dutchman won’t want to take any risks, particularly with a crunch Champions League clash against Juventus scheduled for Wednesday.

According to Juan Jimenez at AS, Alba felt good in Thursday’s session, but he’s more likely to appear as a second-half substitute against Real Madrid rather than a starter.

The report also notes how Alba’s injury history suggests Barcelona will take the “utmost caution” with the left-back to avoid any relapse and potentially more time on the sidelines.


Dest or Junior Firpo?

Dest is the most likely option to continue in the Barcelona defense should Alba not be named in Koeman’s starting XI. The teenager has started the club’s last two games and will be hoping to become the first American to play in El Clasico.

The defender has told Voetbal International, as reported by Sport, that he is enjoying the step up and the challenge of playing for Barcelona after his move from Eredivise side Ajax.

People may think that I went to Barcelona too early, that I should have stayed longer at Ajax. When you go to Spain to live there, you learn Spanish earlier and better than if you stayed in the Netherlands. That’s how I see it with football. I think that when I’m in Barcelona I can develop to a certain level faster. It’s a challenge, but I love it.

Dest does face competition for his place now fellow left-back Junior Firpo has returned to fitness after hamstring trouble. The 24-year-old made his first appearance of the season off the bench against Ferencvaros and is an option to come into the team.

Firpo has struggled to make much of an impact at Barcelona since his move to the Camp Nou in summer 2019 but was part of the Real Betis team that

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