According to a report from AS, Riqui Puig’s continuity in Barcelona may be under scrutiny now that head coach Ronald Koeman has been announced as the coach for another season, at least. It is no secret that the Spanish youngster has been ostracised by the Dutch manager throughout the whole season, having registered only 581 minutes throughout the campaign.
Puig was told at the beginning of the season to seek a club to go on loan. This meant that Koeman had decided not to bet on the youngster for the entire season either from a place of personal agenda or preference of alternative profiles. Initially, players such as Frenkie de Jong, Sergio Busquets, Pedri Gonzalez, and Miralem Pjanic were ahead of him in the pecking order.
However, a few encouraging displays in the middle of the season meant that the 21-year-old might have started gaining favour with Koeman. While he did manage to go ahead of Pjanic in the pecking order, he fell behind 18-year-old academy graduate Ilaix Moriba. With the Dutchman having further outlined his favoured midfield trio, the season’s hopes deflated for Puig entirely.
Now, it looks like Puig may be forced to rethink his future at Barça. Joan Laporta and co have decided to continue with Ronald Koeman, announcing it via a presser. Having most likely signed Georginio Wijnaldum, the future seems even bleaker for the Spanish youngster in the Catalan capital. It isn’t easy to imagine Koeman preferring him over most of his other midfielders, as even Ilaix Moriba has the nod ahead of him currently.
However, the report also outlines that the player stresses his willingness to remain in the Camp Nou. Puig is the archetypical La Masia midfielder. His dexterity on the ball, piercing through balls, and incredible first touch means he can evade opponents and create danger from any part of the field. In addition, the young starlet has a small frame, meaning he uses his low centre of gravity in dazzling dribbles and immense ball progression always to carry the game forward.
He also possesses a great ability to both retain the ball and dictate play using intelligent passes and ball circulation. His maturity, understanding of the game, technical and tactical skills makes him an incredible midfielder who can both create danger and be a reliable presence in midfield. His tireless efforts are all the more meriting, as Puig can be seen constantly running up and down the field to put in solid defensive work.
Hopefully, Puig can work his way into Koeman’s plans come preseason, as the Spaniard can surely add a great deal for his team.