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Riqui Puig is the perfect replacement for Arthur at Barcelona

It’s time...

LaLiga - FC Barcelona V Athletic Club De Bilbao Photo by Xavi B. / AFP7 / Europa Press Sports via Getty Images

There comes a point when it’s just plain embarrassing to have to keep making excuses as to why certain players aren’t given the minutes they deserve.

It happens at every club of course, and in that respect Barcelona are no different, however, things are becoming beyond a joke now.

So many bright young La Masia talents have been sent on their way, forced to make their fortune elsewhere.

Even those that have been brought in ie Todibo, Malcom etc., have been quickly shipped out again.

LaLiga - FC Barcelona V Athletic Club De Bilbao Photo by Xavi B. / AFP7 / Europa Press Sports via Getty Images

We are now at the point where there is no legitimate reason why Riqui Puig should not be starting every game for Barca.

Forget the fact he has the club’s DNA coursing through his veins, he’s just far, far better suited to the way Barca play than some of the other players they have in the midfield.

Age should never be a barrier if you are good enough, and make no mistake, this kid is good enough. And he’s ready.

He was instrumental in changing the pattern of the game against Athletic Club when he came on for Arthur, the subject of a frankly mind-boggling €80m bid from Juventus.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy watching the Brazilian, but he’s not quite the Xavi clone we all expected.

Maybe it wasn’t fair to label him as such at the beginning of his Camp Nou tenure, but he hasn’t really progressed to the extent that he should’ve in any event.

For example, he does have a particular penchant for wandering down blind alleys or playing square balls. It’s the safe option, always.

FC Barcelona v Athletic Club - La Liga Photo by Eric Alonso/Getty Images

That’s where Puig can trump his contemporary. He always plays on the front foot, sees a pass and isn’t frightened to play it.

How many defence splitting balls have you seen Arthur play this season?

If Barca can get anywhere near the money Juventus are offering them, then it’s a no brainer - even if they still offload Ivan Rakitic and Arturo Vidal.

Players with Puig’s talent come along once in a blue moon, and even less so via an academy where you get them gratis.

It’s a travesty that he isn’t being allowed to spread his wings properly in either La Liga or the Champions League.

If Setien wants to still be in with a chance of guiding Barca to the title at the end of the season, then he has to stop fudging the issue and allow Puig to flourish.

He won’t regret it.

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