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Barcelona loanee yet to play a single minute for Italian side, undergoing ‘period of adaption’

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Photo by Donato Fasano/Getty Images

Perhaps one of the most bizarre moves of the summer was seeing Samuel Umtiti agree to join Lecce on a season-long loan.

However, the temporary move was seen as a chance for the Barcelona centre-half to get his career back on track for the Serie A side.

Upon arriving in Italy, fans flocked the streets to greet a once-World Cup winner and world-class defender.

All the expectations seem to have been misplaced so far, as SPORT have reported that Umtiti is yet to play a minute for the Italian side.

It has been stated that the former Lyon centre-back was on board with manager Marco Baroni’s plan that involved him undergoing a period of adaptation.

Playing a combined 917 minutes in his last two campaigns, the French international has been out of action at senior level for a significant period for all practical purposes.

It is also worth remembering that Lecce had bowed to the Catalan club’s demands of covering a certain portion of his wages, which is reported to be around the 10% mark.

Furthermore, the newly-promoted side have also agreed to pay bonuses towards their marquee signing if he plays a set number of matches.

However, the lack of playing time for Umtiti is considered an issue of a lack of match sharpness rather than an attempt to forego the payment structure in place as part of the deal.

Ultimately, this is no skin of Barcelona’s back, considering the two-time La Liga winner already has one foot out of the club’s door.

With Lecce covering a mutually agreed section of his weekly wages as well, Xavi’s side have virtually nothing to be worried about when it comes to Samuel Umtiti’s lack of time on the pitch as of now.

They would be hoping he gets to grace the pitch soon, though, as any minutes under his belt would help his case in the summer when Barcelona inevitably look to sell him.

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