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Riqui Puig hits bottom

Riqui Puig had a smile on the day that Joan Laporta won the elections. Even more so when the new president proclaimed his affection for the midfielder, who was later endorsed with complicit hugs during a summer golf tournament. Everything pointed out that the role of Matadepera was going to change with respect to the season and that Ronald Koeman was going to look at it with different eyes.

As well, the reality is that if something has changed for Riqui Puig it has been for the worse. And it is that the neglect by the Dutch coach towards the young midfielder has been radicalized at this beginning of the course, to the point that has been overtaken by newcomers like the Austrian Yusuf Demir or the youth squad Gavi, the latter after debuting against Getafe when he was just 17 years old.

If last summer, Koeman already publicly opened the doors to Riqui Puig, recommending a way out, now he has opted more for deeds than for words, leaving the youth squad unpublished in the first three days of LaLiga. Not even the loss with Pedri’s permission against Getafe, has opened a small crack to peek out: first Sergi Roberto as the starter and then the very young Gavi were the ones who became creditors to that place.

Riqui Puig’s situation is extremely delicate: a talent of this level cannot spend another year practically blank. Last season he was one of the players who used Koeman the least, second only to the ‘fired’ Matheus Fernandes. And now he is on the way to worsen, if possible, his already impoverished role: currently Koeman has given minutes to 20 footballers; only Riqui Puig, Samuel Umtiti, Miralem Pjanic and Álex Collado have not yet been released.

But it is the case of Riqui Puig who has the club especially in suspense, since the sports area considers him a profitable player, but Koeman has made the cross for him a long time ago and it does not seem that he is going to give up so easily. Hence, in the Blaugrana entity it is not ruled out reaching an agreement ‘in extremis’ to find a way out for the player, always in the form of a loan, aware that two consecutive years without playing games or having continuity can be completely counterproductive in his career.

Koeman has shown, by active and passive, that he does not have Riqui Puig and perhaps the player has definitely got the message. Right now, staying at Barcelona is the most uncomfortable solution for everyone: for the coach, who does not want it and considers that he has plenty of footballers in the squad, for the player, because his progression is cut off and for the club, because he sees a talent like his wasted incomprehensibly.

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