Umtiti is Ready To Play, and Mascherano Is Not Going Anywhere

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We finally have some good news for Barcelona fans.

Umitit will be ready to face Deportivo de la Coruna. Of course, that’s after the international break but he will still be available for Enrique for the next match in La Liga.

He will be more than welcomed, after the last embarrassing defeat against Celta Vigo. The whole team was off form, but the defense line was at the center of attention.

Mathieu wasn’t even close to what we expect from a professional CB. He made too many mistakes, and his job was to replace Mascherano.

Now that Umtiti is ready to play, Enrique will have two top defenders to depend on. Pique and Umtiti should hold the CB positions, without any rotation tactics.

Enrique should allow Umtiti to adopt the style and the team because he’s already proved to everyone that he’s world class.

We’re not just talking about the Barcelona games. Umtiti made his mark during Euro 2016. He wasn’t the first CB option, but he was surely impressive.

Barcelona and France are a different football story. Defending is not the only skill that Barcelona is looking for from a typical CB. They want someone with passing skills and someone who can make fast decisions under pressure.

Umtiti wasn’t available against Atletico, which means we still have to see him perform against a bigger club.

Mascherano is not interested in China

Mascherano is 32 years old, which means he’s closer to retirement than his prime years in football. Players at his age usually continue their careers at places with a slower tempo. The expectations at Barcelona are high.

Every game matters, and you have to complete with R. Madrid and Atletico to win the league. We have no doubt that Mascherano has the mentality for big games.

But what about fitness? Can he handle one more season at Barcelona?

According to Catalan-based Sport, Mascherano is not interested in leaving Barcelona. Even though he might have offers from China, where he probably will make way more than he makes in Barcelona.

Yes, the football quality won’t be the same. China can’t offer the thrill you experience from playing at Camp Nou.

But Barcelona can’t allow mistakes like the one against Las Palmas either. Mascherano is not a natural central defender. He was playing as a defensive midfielder at Liverpool, but he switched to CB when he arrived at Camp Nou.

He knew the position was already taken by Busquests, and his only option was a CB. That’s exactly why he has the habit of making silly mistakes even in big games.

We’re not sure Barcelona would offer him a new deal, especially if Umtiti fits as planned.

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