Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman sent a clear message to Ruiq Puig about his future at the club after Sunday’s 2-1 La Liga win over Getafe at the Camp Nou.
Puig is yet to play a single minute for Barca this season and was once again left on the bench for Sunday’s match. Koeman was asked about a possible exit for Puig after the win at his post-match press conference and offered his thoughts on the midfielder, as reported by Diario Sport.
“The players know what I think and in that sense, it’s enough,” he said. “We have four or five players injured and when they’re back, others are going to be in a very difficult situation.”
Koeman advised Puig to leave before the start of last season but the midfielder opted to stay and fight for his place. However, he spent the majority of the campaign on the bench and looks set for a similar fate in 2021-22.
Puig also appears to have slipped further down the pecking order at the Camp Nou and had to watch on as 17-year-old Gavi and 19-year-old Nico Gonzalez came off the bench in the second half against Getafe.
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Gavi Talks Dream Debut
Gavi is one of Barca’s brightest young stars and has become part of the first-team setup in the early weeks of the campaign after some impressive performances in preseason. The teenager was rewarded for his hard work with an official La Liga debut, on Sunday replacing Sergi Roberto on 74 minutes.
The teenager spoke to Barca TV after the match about his happiness at making his debut for the Catalan giants at the Camp Nou, as reported by Marca.
“Right now I am the happiest kid in the world, since I was little I had that dream of making my debut in La Liga at the Camp Nou and today I have been able to achieve it,” he said. “A thousand things are going through my head, I was a little nervous, I went to do it the best I could. At times like this I remember my family, my friends, all the coaches, La Masía, especially Sergi Milá, who helped me a lot throughout my career.”
Koeman Praises Gavi & Nico
Gavi looked at home in the first team, despite his lack of experience, and it would be no surprise to see the teenager enjoy regular minutes in 2021-22. Koeman offered some words of praise for the starlet after the match in an interview with Barca TV.
“Right from the first day that they trained with us, we’ve been very happy and content with them. They are young players, above all Gavi, Nico is only 19 years old. They’ve been training with us and have been showing their quality,” he said. “They came on in a tricky game and that was very important for them to get the confidence and for me. I have no doubt about the young players that we have. They are going to be really good players.”
Gavi and Nico are part of an exciting batch of youngsters in and around the first team at Barcelona currently. The duo and players such as Eric Garcia, Sergino Dest, Ansu Fati, Pedri, and Yusuf Demir all look to have exciting futures ahead of them at the Camp Nou.