Riqui Puig’s future at Barcelona has been the subject of plenty of speculation this summer, but the 21-year-old midfielder is set to be promoted to the first-team.
According to Javier Miguel at AS, Puig has been officially registered with the senior squad and will no longer be able to play for Barcelona B.
The midfielder will also be handed a new shirt number in due course but is likely to wait until after the transfer window has closed to pick his new squad number.
Manager Ronald Koeman had advised Puig to look for a loan move this season in order to play regularly and continue his development. However, the youngster made it clear he wanted to stay at the Camp Nou and try to prove himself.
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Puig Out to Impress
Puig will now be hoping he can impress Koeman in training and force his way into the first-team reckoning. Yet he will have his work cut out given the size of Barcelona’s squad.
Koeman’s preferred formation this season appears to be a 4-2-3-1 with Sergio Busquets, Miralem Pjanic, and Frenkie de Jong battling it out for the two places in his double pivot midfield system.
Puig will now have to battle the likes of Pedri, Philippe Coutinho, Antoine Griezmann, and Lionel Messi for a place further forward in the team and may have to wait until the Copa del Rey comes around for a start.
Although Koeman advised some of his young players to go out on loan he did also explain they would get chances to impress if they did decide to remain at the Camp Nou.
“I understand that young players have to play games. If Riqui or Aleñá decide to stay, it is their decision and they will have opportunities to show me that I can count on them.”
Puig is currently away from the club on international duty with the Spain Under-21 team. The team are set to face Faroe Islands and Ukraine over the international break and should allow Puig to get some much-needed minutes under his belt.