One area of the pitch where Barcelona have control — certainly more than elsewhere — is the midfield. With Frenkie de Jong, Pedri, and Sergio Busquets commandeering the starting positions, there is an excellent mix of experience and youth. At the same time, the likes of Ilaix Moriba, Miralem Pjanic, and a certain Riqui Puig make the second-string.
That said, it is the future of Riqui has been brought under scrutiny since the advent of the 2019/20 season when he was asked to leave on loan but refused. Consequently, he received only 561 minutes of time on the pitch across four competitions.
Next season might be more of the same, but as per a report by Cat Radio, Puig wants to continue at Barça even though his role will be limited.
A large reason for the same is Joan Laporta’s trust in the youngster. The president believes that is a key part of Barcelona in the next decade and is bound to create a legacy here. It might not come immediately, but it could happen soon.
Puig and Laporta seem to have developed a good relationship in the recent past, pictured together at a golf tournament in Spain. Pep Guardiola was also present there, and spoke highly about the young Spaniard, saying:
“Iniesta did not start until he was 24 years old. People think that playing for Barça, coaching Barça or leading it is easy. Everything has its difficulties. He is a strong boy, he has qualities, it is a matter of persistence.”
He added, “Complain little and move on. Football will always end up giving back to you if you’re determined to keep going.”
Photo: Joan Laporta with Riqui Puig today in a golf tournament. pic.twitter.com/mOhuq9HwGC— Barça Universal (@BarcaUniversal) June 7, 2021
His fate at Barça seems to be locked-in, and now all comes down to Ronald Koeman, who will have to rotate his midfield giving every player ample game-time.