Barcelona midfielder Riqui Puig can be forgiven for not feeling too sad to see Ronald Koeman leave Camp Nou. The Dutchman told Puig to go out on loan when he arrived and barely used the youngster during his time at the club.
Puig certainly looked in good spirits on Thursday as the team returned to training under the guidance of interim coach Sergi Barjuan. Many of Puig’s teammates, including Gerard pique, Frenkie de Jong and Pedri, posted farewell messages to Koeman on social media, but the youngster did not participate.
Instead, he posted a photo to Instagram stories that Barcelona tweeted earlier today showing Puig with Clement Lenglet, Oscar Mingueza, Luuk de Jong and Neto. As you can see, there is simply nothing to hide the huge smile on the youngster’s face.
Puig was also spotted coming out of Barcelona training by fans waiting after the session. The 22-year-old stopped to sign an autograph and still sported a huge smile.
The midfielder has managed just 73 minutes of football for Barcelona this season and was an unused substitute in Koeman’s last game in charge on Wednesday at Rayo Vallecano.
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Xavi back to Barcelona?
Barcelona confirmed on Thursday that B-team coach Sergi Barjuan will take over the interim squad until a permanent replacement is found for Koeman.
Club legend Xavi is the favorite to take the job and has already made a deal to coach the team, as Diario Sport report. Barça and Xavi just have to negotiate his exit from the Qatari side of Al-Sadd.
Xavi’s club are ready to let him return to Barcelona but don’t want him to leave before the team’s game against Al Duhail on Wednesday 3 November, as Edu Polo reported to Mundo Deportivo.
Xavi’s return would be good news for Puig
The prospect of Xavi’s return should be good news for Puig as the two already know each other well.
Xavi spoke fondly of Puig in 2018 when the youngster drew attention during a preseason tour of the United States under coach Ernesto Valverde, as reported by Mundo Deportivo.
“I’m very happy because when I see him play, you can see the whole Barça school, which we love so much. In a way, it reminds us of the football we experienced years ago. This particular DNA of our game which is so complex to find in specific players. And Riqui has it, ”he said. “He’s talented, he sees the game straight away, he knows what to do at all times, he’s smart. I hope Ernesto can give him opportunities when he deserves them. I think he’s already prepared enough, I would say he’s very prepared, to play in Barça’s first team.
Puig is already a fan favorite, but still hasn’t made his way into the Camp Nou starting XI and has been overlooked by managers like Ernesto Valverde, Quique Setien and Koeman.
The midfielder has said on several occasions that he is determined to succeed at Barcelona, despite the fight for playing time, and that he may never have a better opportunity than under Xavi if the 41-year-old ans takes orders, as expected.
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