Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman has been talking about how his team will cope without Lionel Messi and admits the Catalan giants will find it harder to score goals.
The Dutchman made it clear how surprised and disappointed he was by the Argentine’s shock exit and added, “Messi meant so much for this club.”
Koeman then went on to look ahead to the new campaign and what he is expecting from his players as they adjust to life without the GOAT.
“We have new players in and we have to move forward and we have time for that. We have young players in the squad this season and it’s also for the future, we are working on the future of this club and it’s really important to have our focus on this and not focus on what happened in the last few days.
“Of course we will have more difficulties to score goals, Messi scored 30 goals last season. So other players need to bring more and take the next step and it’s more about the team now than individual players.
“It’s not always one player, you have to do it together. Hopefully, we get players back from injury like Ansu Fati and Coutinho and then we still have a strong squad. We will work harder, we will do more to achieve what people expect from us.
“We are still in the transition. We have to understand that the start of this season is difficult. We still have COVID, for all the clubs, but still we have players with injuries so we cannot put all the players for playing because we are still missing good players. We did a good preseason, we have young players in, but if we get all the players back from injury the squad is still a strong one.”
Source | ESPN
Koeman also has plenty of other issues to contend with ahead of the opening game against Real Sociedad. The Dutchman is still without several key players due to injury, while it’s still not clear if players such as Memphis Depay and Eric Garcia will be registered in time.