Speaking in an interview, former Barcelona midfield prodigy Riqui Puig has claimed that he is not thinking about a return to his boyhood club at this moment as he is enjoying playing for LA Galaxy.
A product of Barcelona’s famed La Masia academy, Puig was once regarded as the future of the club’s midfield unit. And while he showed great potential and quality throughout his youth career, the Spaniard could not translate the same to the first-team level.
Indeed, after having failed to make a notable impact with the senior team under multiple managers, Puig left Barça last summer, joining LA Galaxy in the MLS.
And in a short time in the United States, the 23-year-old has become an important player for his team, making 35 appearances in total thus far, in which he has seven goals and five assists.
Given his renaissance in the US, Puig was asked if he was thinking about a possible return to Barcelona at some point in the future, to which he responded (h/t SPORT):
“It’s the club of my life, but at Barça they didn’t give me the minutes I needed to feel like a footballer. Los Angeles is an incredible city and we have a very good team in which I feel important.”
Puig made his first-team debut for Barcelona under Ernesto Valverde but never really got going. While he enjoyed some regularity under Quique Setien, he failed to make it count and was again reduced to a peripheral figure during the tenures of Ronald Koeman and Xavi.
In total, the 23-year-old La Masia graduate made 57 first-team appearances for the Catalans, scoring two goals and assisting three before securing a move away to LA Galaxy.
Given his age, the transfer to the MLS last year came as a surprise, but it seems to have worked out well for Puig as he is getting regular game-time which has allowed him to showcase his best level.