Puig has risen through the ranks at the Camp Nou and is a popular player among supporters who had been looking forward to seeing the 21-year-old playing for the first team next season.
Barcelona had been expected to promote Puig from Barcelona B for 2020-21, but it now appears he will be playing his football elsewhere, leaving fans to fume on social media.
The topic provoked so much discussion the hashtag ‘RiquiNoSeToca’ (Don’t touch Riqui) trended on Twitter in Spain after news that Koeman was not counting on Puig broke on Saturday.
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What Next for Riqui Puig and Barcelona?
Puig has been left out of the Barcelona squad for Saturday’s friendly Joan Gamper Trophy match against Elche at the Camp Nou, meaning he may have already played his last game for the club.
Supporters will be hoping if he does leave it’s only for a temporary spell, and a loan spell “is expected,” according to Ben Hayward at the Evening Standard.
Puig has been left upset and disappointed by Koeman’s decision, according to Ivan San Antonio at Sport. The midfielder had been excited about the future under the new manager but has been shocked to discover he’s not part of it.
Barcelona’s starlet should not lack of offers if he does leave. Lluis Miguelsanz at Sport reported in April that clubs were queueing up to take the youngster on loan. Real Betis, Celta Vigo, Granada and Ajax were all keen as well as clubs in England and Germany.
Could Puig Still Have a Future at Barcelona?
A loan spell away from Barcelona for Puig would allow the midfielder to play regularly, something he’s not yet managed for the first team, and see him gain some much-needed top-level experience.
If the 21-year-old were to impress during his loan spell it could convince Barcelona to give him a second chance. Philippe Coutinho has returned from a successful spell with Bayern and appears set for a key role at Barca this season.
Barcelona will have to sort out Puig’s contract situation first. The midfielder’s current deal expires in summer 2021. He was set to be handed a contract extension until 2023 but a new deal failed to materialize.