Under the pressure of an injury crisis that has claimed two of his four centre backs, it would not be surprising if Barcelona head coach Ernesto Valverde was looking forward to the January transfer window and potential reinforcements or replacements. At least that is what the Spanish media would have us believe, with claims such as a six-month loan bid from the Catalan giants for the 22-year-old.
Unsurprisingly, that is unlikely to be the case in reality.
Valverde is more than happy to work with what he has, even if he is a bit short-handed at the moment.
“We want four centre backs who can play. [Samuel] Umtiti could recover and that would be great news for us and would mean that we would have four centre-backs for the rest of the season, although three are left-footed.”
”We will know more about what happens with him in a little while, but we are Barcelona and want to have a team who can respond. As I said, we’ll see what happens but I’m happy to manage with what I have.”
-Ernesto Valverde; source: FourFourTwo
Umtiti may or may not miss the rest of the season with a knee injury, depending on whether he has to undergo any surgical procedures to fix it. At one point he was set to have surgery, but according to more recent reports (via UOL Esporte), his intentions are to skip the procedure and return for the second half of the season instead. If that’s indeed the case, Barca’s need for new signings diminishes, not that they were too great in the first place. Chelsea would be foolish to do anything with Christensen at the moment with an aging group of defenders around him.
Christensen will hopefully see some action today in the Carabao Cup as he looks to rediscover his form from the early part of last season and put a personally disappointing 2018 calendar year behind him.