Barcelona defender returns after six-month absence

Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti is back in the first-team squad for the first time since June for tonight’s Champions League clash against Juventus following a knee injury.

The Frenchman has not taken to the field for the Blaugrana since the draw at Celta Vigo last season on 27 June, with his last appearance in a matchday squad coming three days later in the draw against Atletico Madrid.

Umtiti has not been available for selection at all since Ronald Koeman’s summer appointment in the hotseat at the Camp Nou but he now appears likely to feature against Juve after being included in the squad.

Barcelona news has been focused on their poor domestic form and list of absentees, with Umtiti’s return to fitness a rare boost.

Umtiti was heavily linked with an exit from Barcelona this summer due to his high wage and lack of first-team opportunities, but he has stayed at the club for now.

Previous to his injury, the Cameroon-born defender has lost his place in the France international side with Clement Lenglet – his Barca teammate – often preferred in both line-ups, while Gerard Pique – who is currently unavailable due to a long-term injury – is still first choice central defender at the Camp Nou.

Pique’s absence may now give Umtiti his opportunity, although Ronald Araujo and Oscar Mingueza are also in contention for starting spots in the heart of the defence.

Tags Samuel Umtiti

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