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Report: Koeman considers Pjanic ‘irrelevant’ and puts him on the transfer list

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Photo by Joaquin Corchero via Imago

Recently, reliable journalist Javi Miguel reported to OnzeTV3 that Ronald Koeman feels disappointed in Miralem Pjanic. The Bosnian arrived in August last year to don the Blaugrana badge but has suffered a beyond disappointing start in Catalan. He is now Koeman’s sixth favourite midfielder in the pecking order, having recently been taken over by Riqui Puig and the young and rising Ilaix Moriba.

In particular, Javi Miguel said, “He complained to Italy that he didn’t have minutes and Koeman reprimanded him for speaking inside and not outside.” While Koeman has shown both flexibility in his tactical approach as well as balanced man-management – visibly becoming a squad favourite coach – he also has the capability to be stern and the boldness to prefer youth over experience.

Miralem Pjanic is unable to provide Koeman with most of the qualities he looks for in the midfielders of his tactical setup.

Additionally, Pjanic’s comments do not seem to have sat well with Koeman. More precisely, In December 2020, Pjanic had complained to Gazetta Dello Sport about his lack of minutes. He had said, “Should I play more? Yes, and that’s what I want. Honestly, I don’t even understand the reason for this situation. It’s clear that I want to play a lot more.”

READ: Does Miralem Pjanic deserve a bigger role at Barcelona?

It seems reasonable that the Dutchman was unhappy with the experienced midfielder’s comments, as matters such as these are best resolved internally.

Javi Miguel also reported to TV3 that “he is on Barça’s list of departures because he is insignificant”. Although his comment was bluntly put, it does not seem so far from the truth; Pjanic has failed to make any significant impact whatsoever in his time at the Garnet and the Blue.

Photo by Alberto Estvez via Imago

While he may have a keen eye for vertical passes and directness in his approach, Pjanic completely lacks the mobility, defensive awareness, and positional intelligence required by Koeman in his setup; three qualities best embodied by the Dutchman’s favourite midfielder Pedri. The coach seemingly requires his players to cover a lot of ground on the field as well as understand the Cruyffian principles of space and time.

Without doubt, Pjanic brings incredible quality in terms of passing; however, he is unable to exploit spaces and also shows a lack of positional intelligence so required by a Blaugrana midfielder. Therefore, it seems the best move going forward – both for the player and the club – is a transfer for the Bosnian in the approaching summer window. Still displaying glimpses of sheer class and experience, Pjanic is sure to express his talent elsewhere and successfully so.

Article by Shivraj Duggal

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