Umtiti's red card means it's time for Lenglet to step forward

The summer signing will get a chance to impress in the coming weeks

Lenglet solo fue titular ante el Sevilla
Lenglet solo fue titular ante el Sevilla | EFE

Since the season started, Clement Lenglet's played 90 minutes just once, the first game of the campaign, against Sevilla in the Spanish Super cup. But with the return of the Champions League and the circumstances which surround the team (basically, the fact that Samuel Umtiti will be suspended in Europe and there's a demanding calendar ahead), everything suggests his time is now here. Umtiti's red card against PSV prevents him from playing against Tottenham at Wembley (he could even miss the Inter game if UEFA feel he deserves a two-game ban) so Ernesto Valverde will have to make changes in defence. 

Javier Giraldo



And everything suggests things will begin this Sunday, against Girona at Camp Nou. Save surprises, Lenglet will have a number of opportunities: Barça have three league games in the next eight days before traveling to London, against Girona, Leganes and Athletic Bilbao. 


They're ideal games to start the rotations after Valverde began them against Real Sociedad at Anoeta last weekend when he reserved Sergio Busquets and Philippe Coutinho from the start. 

If there is one position where the coach is obliged to make changes, it's in the middle of defence. Valverde will use Lenglet in the league so that the French centre-back, who's played 125 official minutes since his summer arrival, is in shape for London. 

In contrast to Thomas Vermaelen, one of the players eternally plagued by injuries, Lenglet's history is largely clean. At 23, he's had hardly any problems with knocks (he's not been injured since February 2017, when he missed a league game against Real Betis with a muscle problem).  


Last season, in fact, he was the player with the most games (54) and minutes (4,693) at Sevilla. He played nine out of 10 games in the Champions League and missed just three league games, one for a suspension, rested for two. 

Lenglet's a player that has shown he's capable of being reliable and sustaining his performance levels over a season without setbacks. In La Liga, last season, he only picked up eight bookings, which is not many for a defender. He also played very Copa del Rey game, save the match against Cartagena at the Pizjuan.

The French now has the chance to show his quality at Barça and to show that his profile fits in perfectly. 


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