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.