Barcelona have been admired for years because of the way they’ve brought talented youngsters through their academy who went on to become world stars, but that pathway has been blocked off in recent years.
Ansu Fati is the obvious exception to that rule but the situation surrounding Riqui Puig does sum up the club just now.
He’s probably hampered by the fans who are desperate for him to turn into the second coming of Andres Iniesta, but he generally looks good when he plays and plenty of the supporters are desperate for him to get more chances.
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The reality is that he’s been kept out of the side by various veteran midfielders who aren’t world class and they won’t be there for long, but this latest report does suggest he’s still a major part of the the club’s future:
Barcelona – at the moment – are not planning to loan out Riqui Puig in January. And his contract will be extended until June 2023 with clause set to be triggered. He’s not leaving as a free agent in Barça plans. ?? #FCB #Barça @MatteMoretto
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) December 30, 2020
Clearly that’s great news for Barca because they’ve got enough issues just now so losing a prized youngster for nothing would be horrendous, but it’s a blow to Arsenal if reports from The Metro are to be believed.
They state that Arsenal were keen to bring him to the club on loan after a falling out with Ronald Koeman made him available, while they certainly have space for a talented playmaker who can open up defences.
That move to the Emirates now appears to be impossible but this could be far more worrying for Koeman. If he doesn’t like the player but Barca are still extending his contract, then it suggests that Koeman will be gone at the end of the season rather than Puig.