Riqui Puig could be very beneficial for the current Barca squad as Pedri and Sergio Roberto will return to grass after recent injuries as they have started working ahead of the derby with Espanyol after the ongoing international break. This is a piece of very great news for XAVI, the new technical manager of the BLAUGRANA cause the midfield looks very strong as the young talents’ links great.
Puig was one of La Masia’s brightest talents, but at 22, there were fears his career had stagnated. A rocky relationship with Koeman saw him receive very limited game time, despite his obvious attacking talent, and he stands to gain a lot should he have a rebirth under Xavi.
In terms of midfielders, there aren’t many better players to learn from than his new coach XAVI ‘The Puppet Master’ who has 767 appearances for the club, is an attempt to restore not only results but the style of play that separates Barcelona from the rest as “more than a club.” Xavi boasts a 65.7%-win rate at Al-Sadd in Qatar as a manager, and will be aiming to maximize the output of a Barcelona squad in transition, but which does boast some top young talent. Laporta urged Koeman to use Riqui Puig and Samuel Umtiti, he didn’t follow this request and this situation will likely change with Xavi. He is a huge fan of Puig and he will at least give the French defender a chance.
Fans have been bored with the team’s play for a while and Xavi‘s mission is to give the squad a facelift. He is a believer in the teachings of Johan Cruyff and prefers a constant attacking style, although he doesn’t have the best tools to deploy it right now.
Riqui’s similarities with Xavi Hernandez
Just like it happened to Riqui Puig, Xavi Hernandez also was repeatedly ignored by his managers during the start of his career. Despite making his debut, Louis van Gaal didn’t give him the proper starring role as other coaches did in the future. The legendary midfielder kept getting offers from other clubs but he was determined to become a starter at FC Barcelona.
Just like Riqui, Xavi grew up in La Masia and his dream was stronger than any offer that came from some of the biggest clubs in the world. After hearing his determination when yesterday’s match ended, we are more certain about his future than ever. This is a player who will remain at FC Barcelona until he can finally become the important player he always dreamed of. Club supporters are always rooting for him to succeed.
Riqui Puig’s playing style
Riqui Puig’s best position is as a left central midfielder, a place in the field once occupied by the legendary Andres Iniesta at Barcelona. Puig has a keen eye for a pass and can dictate the tempo of the game with ease.
Among all of Barcelona’s midfielders, Riqui Puig’s attacking numbers are the best in the 2020/21 season. According to data (includes stats from his Barça B appearances), Riqui Puig has the best progressive runs per 90 (5.97) by a distance and is second in both XG and shots per 90 values (2.18 & 1.65 respectively) which clearly indicates that Riqui Puig carries the ball into the final third quite frequently and also gets into good shooting and goal-scoring positions. His dribbling numbers are quite good too, meaning that his qualities would be good value against teams that set up in a low block, which happens quite often against Barcelona. Riqui Puig’s defensive numbers, though, are not quite up to the mark and his upper body strength is a work in progress. But thankfully for him, if there is a team where technical quality is prioritized over height or physical strength, it is Barcelona.
The one of Matadepera will have to work hard in the training to show him to La Computadora that it has to have he of the usual form. Will have a lot of competition, since it is the zone of the most populated field in the Barça. Nevertheless, the player has quality, many win to triumph in his house and therefore it will give it everything to take advantage of this opportunity, that could be the last that have in the Camp Nou.