The absence of Riqui Puig in the Gamper leaves his future in Barcelona in doubt


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The absence of Riqui Puig in the Gamper leaves his future in Barcelona in doubt

BARCELONA – There is no day without news in Barcelona and this Saturday, waiting to see what happens in the operation that, beyond the well-known names, has another protagonist in Nelson Semedo, the Riqui Puig bomb exploded. Ronald Koeman dispensed with him in the list of summoned for the match against Elche of the Joan Gamper Trophy and, according to information advanced by RAC1 and confirmed by ESPN, informed him that he does not have him, encouraging him to find a way out before closing From the market.

The hours before the duel against Elche were frantic at the Barcelona club’s Ciudad Deportiva. The transfer of the left-handed side Sergio Akieme, who arrived at the subsidiary last season from Rayo Vallecano, to Almería, was completed first, and in parallel the transfer of Jorge Cuenca to Villarreal was accelerated, who will most likely transfer him to a third team.

The sale of the center is only pending to agree on the final price of the transfer, to which some variables must be added in addition to a percentage to be received by Barça in the event of a future sale of the player by the Yellow Submarine.

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But what became the news of the day was to learn that Koeman left Riqui Puig out of the call, who in just 48 hours has gone from trusting to have the first team’s number to being pointed out directly, assuming that the Dutch coach does not have him and that, in this way, he would become part of the discarded who are looking for fate in the 16 days remaining to close the transfer market.

Considered one of the pearls with the best future of the quarry, the 21-year-old Catalan midfielder who entered the club’s basic forces at cadet age, debuted with the first team under Ernesto Valverde in April 2019, in a Cup match against Huesca and becoming one of the most demanded pieces by the fans …

However, since then he has barely played 13 games, seven of them as a starter, either with Valverde or Quique Setién, who put him in the starting eleven in the final stretch of the season although he only completed two games (Atlético de Madrid and Alaves).

The arrival of Pjanic, added to the presence of Busquets, De Jong or Sergi Roberto as players with a profile to act in the double pivot, in addition to the rest of midfielders, make the middle area very populated, understanding that the coach does not even see him options as a pivot or to fight a place inside, in the supposed line of three ahead.

Koeman’s decision, which only confirms the difficult sporting situation that the player has experienced during the last two years, catapults his immediate future to the fore, which, considering that he has a contract in force until June 2021 with an option unilateral in favor of Barça for another two seasons, it could go through a transfer or, as happened in the case of Cucurella, a transfer with a buyback option.

The case of Riqui Puig invites us to remember the one who starred in his day Iván de la Peña, catapulted by Johan Cruyff to the first team at the age of 19 in 1995 and who, idolized by the Camp Nou fans for his sensational game in the center of the field , He never managed to win an indisputable place in the Barça line-up, having very discreet steps for Lazio and Olympique de Marseille until in 2002 he definitely left for Espanyol, where he would become an unquestionable idol …

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For the rest, Koeman once again left Luis Suárez and Arturo Vidal out of the call, as well as Rafinha Alcántara in a clear sign that the three of them have their days numbered at Barça. And adding to them in the discards the central Umtiti and Todibo, already training with the squad after overcoming their episode of coronavirus.

The firmness of the Dutch coach, who knows if encouraged to do so by the club itself, is more evident with each passing day, also highlighting his firm commitment to the American Konrad de la Fuente, who remained in a summons to which he returned, already recovered, Ansu Fati, and in which Miralem Pjanic premiered, of whom Koeman said could have his first minutes as a Barcelona player.


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