Barcelona’s Champions League win over Dynamo Kiev could prove to be something of a turning point this season with manager Ronald Koeman reportedly having been impressed by the performances of his young players.
The Barcelona boss, who advised his youngsters at the start of the season to go out on loan, may just have had a change of heart after seeing his much-changed team produce a performance full of energy and goals.
Koeman handed Oscar Mingueza a debut against Dynamo Kiev and was impressed with the 21-year-old defender and told him so after the game, according to Sport. Midfielder Carles Alena also came in for rare praise after making his first start of the season.
The report claims that Koeman also congratulated Riqui Puig and Matheus Fernandes for their contributions after both players came off the bench in the second half of the Champions League win.
Francisco Trincao is another player who the club are more than happy with. His performances may have been somewhat erratic, but his attitude and effort is valued by Koeman.
Koeman said after the match that “today’s image is what we want to see” from Barcelona and now has to decide who plays on Sunday against Osasuna when his team return to La Liga action.
Mingueza may have a chance due to the defensive injuries, while Alena could keep his place with Sergio Busquets a doubt. Yet Koeman is also likely to restore Frenkie de Jong and Lionel Messi to his starting XI after both players were rested in midweek.
Barca do play at Ferencvaros in the Champions League on Wednesday which is a more realistic opportunity for the club’s youngsters and fringe players to start given qualification from the group is already assured.