Barcelona star Samuel Umtiti lacks the X factor to become a Manchester United player, according to former French footballer Mikael Silvestre.
As quoted by The Sun, Mikael Silvestre has claimed in an interview with US-Bookies that his compatriot Samuel Umtiti does not have what it takes to be successful at Manchester United, pointing towards the Barcelona defender lacking the X-factor needed to make it at Old Trafford.
Samuel Umtiti has risen in stature considerably since joining Barcelona from Lyon the summer of 2016. Nearly three years later, the player is regarded as one of the best centre-backs in the world, although injuries have stunted his progress by a fair bit in the last 18 months or so.
The current campaign has been blighted by injuries as well for Umtiti, who has managed a mere 10 appearances across all competitions due to multiple knee injuries. His absence has helped summer signing Clement Lenglet usurp him in the pecking order, and according to recent reports, Manchester United are interested in swooping Umtiti away from Barcelona.
Manchester United’s long drawn out search for a centre-back has been futile so far, with the frustrations boiling over for Jose Mourinho due to the same before his dismissal three months ago. Defence though, remains a priority for the Premier League heavyweights, with a number of centre-backs being linked in recent weeks.
With Victor Lindelof the only one who has managed to impress on a consistent basis at the heart of the Manchester United defence, signing a player like Umtiti who, as per reports could be available for transfer this summer, might be just what the doctor ordered.
But, former French footballer Mikael Silvestre, who spent nine fruitful years at Manchester United, has claimed in an interview with US-Bookies, that the Barcelona defender does not have the X-factor to succeed at the club while also adding that the Red Devils should instead focus on grooming Eric Bailly.
“Manchester United will always look to sign players with the X-factor, but I don’t see Samuel Umtiti as necessarily a Manchester United player. I think Eric Bailly has all the qualities Manchester United need in defence but United will always target the best, so who knows who might come in and they will always look to strengthen the squad.”
Whether Umtiti even joins Manchester United is not clear yet. But, should he end up making the switch to Old Trafford, it will be interesting to see if he proves Mikael Silvestre wrong, or if the former United defender is proven to be correct.