The pair played together at Olympique Lyon.
"People see the player who has struggled the past two years, but talk to people at Barcelona -- I have friends there -- and they see him train and they say he is at the level he was at before," Darder said.
"The thing is: once you have that label, it's hard. Once you have that label? Go, because you won't get rid of it."
On if he still sees Umtiti, he added: "The Barcelona-Espanyol rivalry means you can't meet up much... he has his life and I have mine, but we do speak. He's having a difficult time of it now, but he's very, very good."
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