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Umtiti faces lengthy layoff with ligament damage in knee

The France defender could be out for several months, leaving Barça with just three central defenders: Gerard Piqué, Clément Lenglet and Thomas Vermaelen.

Umtiti faces lengthy layoff with ligament damage in knee

Barcelona have been dealt a blow with news that Samuel Umtiti could face several months out after ligament damage was detected in his left knee.

That leaves Ernesto Valverde with just three senior central defenders, until January at least: Gerard Piqué, Clément Lenglet and Thomas Vermaelen.

Barcelona have not been enjoying the best of times at the back with Gerard Piqué making high-profile mistakes as Valverde’s side were held by Girona and defeated at Leganés during the midweek round of fixtures.

Valverde faces a tough choice for Piqué partnership

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Lenglet, meanwhile, has still yet to fully adapt to his new side after his summer move from Sevilla and has been used sparingly by Valverde, playing just 160 minutes in all competitions so far this season and picking up a red card against Girona.

Vermaelen, meanwhile, has had an injury plagued time at Camp Nou and has only managed one appearance this season, a rather disappointing display at left back during the defeat at Butarque.

The Barça boss now faces the task of forming a new central defensive partnership in place of the established Piqué-Umtiti tandem. Last season the pair were Valverde’s sixth and eighth most-used players respectively with Vermaelen, the third choice behind the pair, making just 20 appearances in 2017-18.

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