Barcelona have officially released the squad that will be in contention for the clash against Deportivo Alavés tomorrow. And the biggest surprise is definitely the exclusion of Riqui Puig.
The midfielder has only played three minutes in total under Ronald Koeman and his omission is a purely technical decision, the gaffer has confirmed in the pre-game press conference.
“Dropping him from the squad was a technical decision. In several games we have had 23 players in the squad but for me, that’s too many players. I prefer that players train well rather than travel if they’re not going to play.”, said the coach to the media.
His La Masia teammate, Carles Aleña, is in a similar situation, having not featured for Barcelona this season at all. He, some reports from Mundo Deportivo suggest, may be on his way out of the club in the upcoming transfer window, either on another loan or permanently this time around.
For Puig, however, leaving was never an option as he wants to succeed in Catalonia. But, as it currently stands, Koeman doesn’t count on him and the latest squad list confirms that.
This, of course, comes as a big blow for the youngster and his future. We know he has the quality and the potential to be a starter but it seems there is no room for his profile in the Dutchman’s current system.
Things may change in the future, especially if Koeman doesn’t stay after 2020/21, but until then, we’re unlikely to see much of Puig in the Blaugrana kit.
Papers: La Liga is getting very hot
Later on tonight, Barcelona will travel to Pamplona to face a tricky opponent in the form of Osasuna. This, again, is a very important match for the Catalans. With their form on the rise, it’s paramount they keep winning and applying pressure on Atletico Madrid and the rest of the rivals.
For that reason, SPORT say La Liga is getting quite hot with each passing day. The race seems to be on.
Of course, since Atletico Madrid are facing Real Madrid in the great derby at the capital tomorrow, this is a huge chance for Barcelona to close the gap. In an ideal world, a draw would probably be the best option as it would mean both teams dropping points.
However, considering how big Atletico’s lead is at the moment, maybe a Real Madrid victory would also benefit the Catalans. Either way, they first have to win their own game before expecting anything else.
Mundo Deportivo are focusing on the elections, the results of which will be known tomorrow. Their title says ‘To play and to vote‘.
All three of Joan Laporta, Victor Font and Antoni Freixa delivered their speeches in the last debate before the elections. Now, they’ve done everything they could to persuade the socis.
Tomorrow a new era begins and Barcelona will finally get a new president. As things currently stand, we do have a favourite according to the media but at the same time, no one should be jumping the gun just yet.
Sunday can’t come soon enough.