Umtiti hails Pique influence

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Samuel Umtiti has thanked Gerard Pique for guiding him through his early appearances for Barcelona.

The former Lyon defender has started the last three matches in all competitions for Barca, slotting in alongside Pique in place of Javier Mascherano.

At just 22, Umtiti admits moving to Camp Nou presented a big challenge, but says the guidance of the experienced Pique has made it an easier transition.

"On the field Gerard tells me a lot," he told Mundo Deportivo.

"He is the head of the defence, he guides me and advises me. It helps me to progress."

The France international knows he still has a lot of improvement to make to adapt to the Barca style, but is happy with his early displays under Luis Enrique.

He added: "It is true that I am learning to defend differently.

"Barca do not play like other teams, for me it is another kind of football. I'm trying to adapt as quickly as possible, learning in every workout to perform in matches.

"It is only the beginning but for now it is going well, I hope to improve over time.

"Every player wants to play but as I have said since I arrived, my goal is to learn alongside great players and play when the coach needs me."