According to a report published by The Athletic, Arsenal are interested in Barcelona outcast Riqui Puig for the January transfer window.
Puig, who was touted to become a first-team regular this season, has been pushed out to the benches by Ronald Koeman, who seems to be far from impressed with the youngster’s attitude in training.
Stemming from the same, the youngster has played no more than once in the Liga for a grand total of 11 minutes. Additionally, all his three appearances in the Champions League have been reduced to cameos as well, where he has totalled 75 minutes, playing against Dynamo Kyiv, Ferencvaros, and Juventus.
Despite his impressive display against Juventus, Puig has not been awarded with a single minute. Against Levante, he was asked to sit back down after warming up, once Barcelona took the lead through Lionel Messi. It has been clear that Koeman does not have the 21-year-old in his plans.
Arsenal are going through a monumentally tough season under Mikel Arteta as they sit 15th in the league after 15 matchdays, winning no more than five games. The team is crying out for a creative midfielder on the pitch, and they could benefit leaps and bounds from the services of Riqui Puig, who has set up five key passes in his last two appearances, and created one big chance. His move, though, is solely dependent on himself, as he has refused to move away from the club once already.
Ronald Araujo returns to Barcelona first-team training ahead of Sevilla clash
This Saturday afternoon, Barcelona will travel to Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan to face Sevilla for the control of the third place in the table. The Andalusians have already proved they are an incredibly tricky opponent so this clash is bound to be a big one once more.
But there is some good news for Ronald Koeman ahead of the Saturday challenge. Barcelona have officially confirmed that Ronald Araujo is once again training with the team. Of course, the centre-back has been out of action for quite some time now and the Catalans have missed him dearly.
He may be still young and developing but the Uruguayan is a true rock in their defence. Having him available should definitely help in the remainder of the season, especially since Gerard Pique is also back.
However, we still don’t know whether Koeman will risk his defensive talisman right from the start this Saturday, even if he is given the green light. Sometimes, throwing players into the fire immediately, especially for such a huge game, can be counterproductive.
Araujo is surely eager to play but Koeman needs to think long-term when making this tricky decision. Despite the opposition and the importance of the match, maybe it wouldn’t be that bad to start him on the bench.
After all, he can always be substituted in if the team requires some extra solidity in the latter parts of the clash. Hopefully, however, it doesn’t come to that.
Either way, this is a must-win game and the team better be ready to face the challenge.