Barcelona still look far from the rocket ship of a squad they have built, and a lot of them stems from underperformance by key players in the squad. The likes of Philippe Coutinho and Martin Braithwaite were never expected to perform consistently, while Antoine Griezmann and Ousmane Dembele have come into their own right now. Sadly, one player who has been consistently underwhelming is Clement Lenglet.
Coming on the back of a rather robust campaign, Barcelona fans did not expect Lenglet’s form to dip as meteorically as it has, but the Frenchman seems to be on the conceding end of a rookie error in every other game this season. He was said to be in he driving seat ahead of Ronald Araujo and Samuel Umtiti at the start of the season, but it looks like at this point his compatriot has replaced him in preference order, at least for the fans.
In a poll conducted by us at Barça Universal on Twitter asking followers to vote for one of the two Frenchman as the starting defender against Athletic Bilbao, 81% of over 7,300 votes went in favour of Umtiti.
Poll: Who should start against Bilbao on Sunday?
— Barça Universal (@BarcaUniversal) January 28, 2021
The World Cup winner has started two Liga games this season, one against Elche and another one against Granada. He was one of the standout performers in both games, keeping a clean sheet and putting up a faultless performance.
This is even more surprising when we consider that fans were outraged by Umtiti’s decision to not get surgery prior to the World Cup, who then went on to put on a disasterclass of a performance against Celta Vigo which led to a defeat last season.
He may not be in contention to start over Lenglet, though, with the latter clearly getting favours from Ronald Koeman despite horrendous performances. It may stem from the fact that Barcelona are looking to get rid of Umtiti and do not trust him to stay at the club for any longer than June.