Samuel Umtiti overcome with emotion after receiving incredible welcome by Leece fans in airport
Samuel Umtiti was reduced to tears when hundreds of Leece fans welcomed him into Brindisi airport in southern Italy on Thursday night. This is an emotional watch.
The 28-year-old defender has endured a frustrating spell in his career of late.
When he joined Barcelona in the summer of 2016 from Lyon after an impressive European Championship with France, he was expected to be a mainstay in the first team for years to come.
But following a series of serious injuries, Umtiti, who cost the Catalan giants £24.6 million, has made just 35 appearances at club level in the past three seasons.
Barca were desperate to free up more space in their current squad as they try and register the signing of Jules Kounde, so in a solid move for both parties, Umtiti has joined Serie A side Leece on a season-long loan.
The Spanish club will pay Umtiti's entire salary during his spell in Italy, say reports, and there is no 'option to buy' clause in included in the deal.
But it is a positive outcome for the centre-back. If he can stay fit, the Frenchman is expected to pick up more game time in the coming months – a relief after such a difficult few years with injury.
OFFICIAL: Samuel Umtiti joins Leece on loan from Barcelona. pic.twitter.com/eIlE9hXxAb— SPORTFOLIO (@OpebabsFootball) August 25, 2022
Umtiti arrived into Brindisi Airport to complete his move to Leece on Thursday and, after receiving a warm welcome from hundreds of fans, the defender was overcome with emotion.
With so many setbacks over the years, it's great to see the defender be appreciated for his talents.
After all, at one stage, he was rated one of the best centre-back's in world football. Here's how social media reacted to his arrival in southern Italy this week.
A move to a side like Lecce makes perfect sense for Samuel Umtiti. Low expectations, plenty of game-time and the fans behind your back -- what’s not to like?!— Neal 🇦🇺 (@NealGardner_) August 25, 2022
From Barça perspective -- the better he does, the greater the odds of being able to move him on. It’s a win-win!
Umtiti leaves Barcelona, joining Lecce on loan until 2023. Despite only being a loan, that should be Umtiti’s time at Barça up for good now. A player who’s career here started so well, yet ended so badly. Shame the way it went, but Barça’s much needed clear-out continues. 🔵🔴🇫🇷 pic.twitter.com/E6OCoymDdI— Pablo Woolls-Blanco (@PabloWBOfficial) August 25, 2022
Thoughts on Umtiti joining Leece? Is it a good move for the French defender?
Let us know in the comments.
Featured Image Credit: @gerardromero/Twitter
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