As Barcelona continue to plan next season’s first team squad in light of the coronavirus pandemic, which will force the club to considerably cut salary costs, one of the most important decisions is to figure out which of the young Academy prospects could become part of the first team to replace some of the expensive players who are set to leave.
One of the most exciting young players in the eyes of many Barça fans is midfielder Riqui Puig, but he does not seem to have the same trust within the club as he does outside of it. That’s according to a report from Cadena SER, which says Puig has “three months”, or the rest of this season whenever it comes back, to prove he deserves a spot in the first team.
The report claims the club has doubts about Puig’s ability to handle the jump to the first team and is contemplating a loan, but other players mentioned in the report seem to have a lot more trust from Quique Setién and other important figures in the club: midfielder Álex Collado seems destined for promotion, Iñaki Peña will almost certainly replace Neto as the backup goalkeeper, Ansu Fati is already seen as a first team player and Ronald Araújo will be part of the defense unless the club receives a great offer for him.
Whatever happens with the youngsters next season, one thing seems clear: while Riqui Puig is a future superstar in the eyes of the fans, he’s just another Academy product who might be better off “gaining experience” somewhere else in the eyes of the people in charge. That seems questionable at best.