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Ernesto Valverde explains why he started Samuel Umtiti over Jean-Clair Todibo at Eibar

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The Frenchman made his return from injury

FC Barcelona v Sevilla FC - La Liga Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Ernesto Valverde explained his decision to start Samuel Umtiti at centre-back over Jean-Clair Todibo for Saturday’s trip to Eibar.

Todibo had been expected to fill in for the suspended Gerard Pique at Ipurua, but it was Umtiti who came into the backline for his first appearance of the season.

The 25-year-old slotted in alongside Clement Lenglet and helped Barcelona keep a clean sheet, and Valverde says his experience was vital.

“It was a decision I had to think a lot about because Todibo did well in the last game,” he said.

“But keeping in mind the opposition, the stadium and how they play, we needed experience and security to defend the crosses from out wide.

“It’s true Samu’s not played for a while, but this was a special game.”

Source | Sport

Umtiti’s return from injury will be a boost to the Catalan giants ahead of a busy few weeks of action, and he will hope he can now enjoy an injury-free run and compete for a starting spot.