Barcelona’s day went from bad to worse on Saturday, as after being held by Celta Vigo at the Nou Camp, they received bad news on Samuel Umtiti.
The La Liga leaders couldn’t find a way to secure all three points, with the visitors claiming a point in a 2-2 draw as it was a second consecutive league game in which Barca failed to win.
In turn, while that gives their title rivals hope of catching them, Ernesto Valverde arguably suffered an even bigger blow after the game as it was suggested that defender Umtiti could be sidelined for up to two months with a hamstring injury, as per Guillem Balague’s tweet below.
Umtiti could be out two months (via @RTorquemada). Barcelona need at least two players (centre back, offensive midfielder) to be amongst the best teams in Europe this season
— Guillem Balague (@GuillemBalague) December 2, 2017
Barcelona are horribly short in that department as it is, with the previously injury-plagued Thomas Vermaelen replacing him on Saturday, but with the Belgian’s track record it will give the Catalan giants something to think about ahead of the January transfer window.
Gerard Pique will undoubtedly be even more of a pivotal figure at the back, while Javier Mascherano could also fill in but at 33 years of age, it has to be questioned how much solidity he can continue to offer.
Particularly with El Clasico coming up on December 23, along with key games both domestically and in Europe, it’s a huge blow for Barcelona who will surely be concerned with their lack of depth at the back.
Should the initial two-month layoff diagnosis hold, that would see Umtiti potentially miss the following games:
December 5 vs Sporting
December 10 vs Villarreal
December 17 vs Deportivo
December 23 vs Real Madrid
January 3 – Copa del Rey last 16
January 7 vs Levante
January 10 – Copa del Rey last 16
January 14 vs Real Sociedad
January 17 – Quarter-final first leg*
January 21 vs Betis
January 24 – Copa del Rey Quarter-final second leg*
January 28 vs Alavés
January 31 – Copa del Rey Semi-final first leg*
February 4 vs Espanyol
*If Barcelona advance