Lionel Messi has reportedly requested to Ernesto Valverde that he think about calling up Barcelona youngster Riqui Puig to the first team.
The 19-year-old was hugely impressive in his side’s 4-1 Copa Del Rey victory over Cultural Leonesa earlier this week, and it seems like his performance has caught the eye of Messi if this report is anything to go by.
According to Don Balon, the Argentine has asked manager Valverde to think about promoting the midfielder to Barca’s first team, something that could be beneficial for the club financially.
Puig, who’s come through the ranks at Barcelona in the past few years since joining the club in 2013, is one of the brightest young talents at the club, and promoting him now may just be a master stroke from Valverde.
Promoting Puig to the first team would mean that Barca have one more option to pick from in midfield, and the temptation to dip into the transfer market to bolster their options in the centre of the park would be gone.
It would also allow the player the opportunity to get more valuable first team minutes under his belt, something that could play a hugely positive role in his development considering he’s just 19.
Although Barcelona do have a stacked midfield at the moment, players like Arturo Vidal, Sergio Busquets and Ivan Rakitic are all approaching the twilight years of their careers, thus they may end up calling time on their stint at Barcelona in the not-too-distant future.
This is why promoting Puig would be a good idea, as it would allow the youngster to slowly find his feet with the club’s first team before taking over a main role in their midfield in the future.
Maybe Valverde should be listening to Messi on this occasion…