Riqui Puig has been offered some advice by manager Ronald Koeman regarding how he can improve his game at Barcelona.
The 21-year-old is struggling for game time this season and has only managed three minutes of action so far as a late substitute in the defeat to Getafe.
Koeman has given an interview to L’Esportiu where he’s offered his thoughts on the youngster: “He needs to improve in many ways. The rhythm of the ball, his physique, competing...”
Puig’s physique is a topic that has often come up in the past but it certainly hasn’t seemed an issue on the rare chances he has had in the first team.
Indeed the youngster has generally impressed when he has played, but curiously has so far been unable to convince Ernesto Valverde, Quique Setien and now Koeman of his quality.
The Barca boss did advise Puig that a loan might be beneficial at the start of the season, but the midfielder was determined to fight for his place.
“The young players have to play, it’s not good for them to not have minutes. We need a deep squad to be able to make changes. I give them advice, but in the end, each player decides,” he said.
“I have spoken to them. If, in the end, you decide to stay with the team, you’re part of the squad and you have to show me that you deserve minutes. January will be a moment to evaluate their situation.”
It seems players such as Carles Alena and Riqui Puig may be facing a tough decision when the window reopens. They can either stay at Barcelona and risk spending the rest of the season on the bench or try their luck out on loan somewhere.