Samuel Umtiti has the potential to become “the black Franz Beckenbauer”, according to ex-Barcelona and France defender Eric Abidal.
Umtiti made his international debut for France at Euro 2016, stepping into the breach with some composed displays following the suspension of Adil Rami.
The 22-year-old’s assured performances helped persuade Barca to sign him from Lyon and, although he will miss Wednesday’s crunch LaLiga clash with Atletico Madrid due to a knee injury, Abidal has been deeply impressed by his compatriot.
“Umtiti is much better than Abidal. He will be the black Beckenbauer at Barca,” Abidal told RAC1.
One man not enjoying such a good time of it at Camp Nou is right-back Aleix Vidal, who has failed to win over Luis Enrique and was not included in the squad for the visit of Atletico.
“It is difficult not play. Aleix Vidal will have to talk to the coach or leave,” added Abidal, who says Barca’s fearsome attacking trio of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar makes it almost impossible to defeat them.
“It is very difficult to beat Barca, especially now seeing the team with the trident. You have to trust this team.”