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Koeman critical of Nico Gonzalez after Barcelona’s defeat to Atletico

The teenager was taken off at half-time

Atletico Madrid v FC Barcelona - La Liga Santander Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images

Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman was critical of 19-year-old midfielder Nico Gonzalez after Saturday’s 2-0 defeat to Atletico Madrid.

Nico started the game along with 17-year-old Gavi at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium but was hooked at half-time with Barca already 2-0 down.

Koeman spoke about Nico after the match and feels the youngster should have done better for the opening goal scored by Thomas Lemar.

“You cannot leave so much space when we lost the ball. We had spoken exactly about that, our midfielders needed to follow their men - and Nico let Lemar run for their opening goal,” he said.

“That is why we have played sometimes with three centre-backs, we leave too much space, and do not have pace in midfield to cover players like Llorente or Lemar in this case.”

Koeman | Source

It was a pleasant surprise to see both Nico and Gavi in the starting XI at the Wanda Metropolitano, but Koeman’s comments do make you worry whether we’ll get to see him again this season or if he’s set for the Riqui Puig treatment.