La Liga 2016/17: Samuel Umtiti to return for Barcelona against Deportivo de la Coruna
The French defender moved from Lyon in the summer for a sum of €25 million and was slowly feeling his way into the first team, before picking up an injury in the 1-1 draw against Atletico Madrid. The defender has made three appearances for the Catalan side this season.
Reports in the Spanish media suggests that the defender could now make a comeback against Deportivo la Coruna at the Nou Camp. The 22-year-old has been doing some rehabilitation work with club physiotherapist Juanjo Brau as reported by Sport English.
The defender injured his knee on 21st September and was given a timeline of three weeks to recover. The defender hasn’t had any setbacks during his recovery period, with the player scheduled for group training by the end of the week.
Much-needed player for Barca’s leaky defence
Umtiti plays as a center-back for the French national side as well as the Catalan side, and will hope to slot in his role as the left-sided center-back once he recovers fully from the injury.
With other defenders such as Pique and Mascherano scheduled to come back from international duty just before the Deportivo gane, there is a chance of the French defender make a start for the club, so as to not risk those just coming back from international duty.
Barcelona have a host of matches lined up after the international break, with games against Valencia, Manchester City (two games) and Granada, within a space of 17 days. Luis Enrique believes in a rotation policy so as to prevent injuries and keep the players fresh.
The possible return of Umtiti will indeed be a blessing for the Blaugrana given some shoddy defending that Barcelona displayed in their last two games against Celta Vigo and Borussia Monchengladbach.
Barcelona slid to a surprise 4-3 defeat against Celta Vigo last weekend, which has left them two points adrift of the top spot behind leaders Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid.
Messi may return against Deportivo
The Deportivo match may also see the return of Argentinean superstar, Lionel Messi, although there is a chance that he may start on the bench. As per a report by Sport, the Argentine is expected to play for a possible 20-30 minutes.
The Argentine is slated to return for Barcelona against Manchester City in the Champions League.
Also Read: Barcelona confirm Rakitic's tendon injury
Pep Guardiola, currently the manager of City, will also be making an emotional return to his home town club as the teams face off in the UEFA Champion’s League group fixture.