Ronald Koeman replaced Quique Setien this summer after Barcelona lost brutally to German champions Bayern Munich. Setien could not make his mark at Camp Nou failing to win a single trophy for the Blaugrana in his six months tenure. He lost a 2-point lead at the top of the table as Real Madrid snapped up La Liga.
Koeman’s dismal start to the Barcelona season: a reminder of Setien’s tenure
The European dream also remained unfulfilled with a disappointing exit from the competition. This season Barcelona has not made a worthwhile start in the Spanish tier sitting 12th in the table. They could muster only 5 points from their last 5 games which are quite unexpected considering the high standard of the Catalan club.
Ronald Koeman tried to rebuild his squad upon his appointment. He did the necessary changes to raise the transfer budget and balance the books in order to do some business in the summer transfer window. He consolidated the right-back position signing Sergino Dest but failed to snap up two important targets, namely Memphis Depay and Eric Garcia. Barcelona is currently without a proper number after selling Luis Suarez to league rivals Atletico Madrid. Depay was supposed to replace the Uruguayan legend but La Liga did not allow the transfer to go through on grounds of the salary caps.
Riqui Puig waiting for his golden chance
Eric Garcia also missed out on his opportunity to return to his former club after Manchester City did not agree on terms with the club claiming the defender is worth more than offered. Barcelona has an ailing defensive line which Garcia could have strengthened significantly.
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Koeman provided opportunities to quite a few stars to find their redemption into the first-team which includes Philippe Coutinho, Ansu Fati, and Griezmann. Irrespective of the fact that the Dutch boss regulates the squad at times, La Masia graduate Riqui Puig received just 3 minutes of appearance in the 2020/21 campaign under Koeman.
This seems unjust as Puig is a talented youngster capable to succeed Busquets in the middle of the park with his vision and attacking prowess. He can also rotate possession and play a constraint in the final third of the attack. One of the prominent reasons is because Koeman’s current formations do not have a place for Puig with the star power in the first team, as per Marca. When Busquets retires, the youngster can have his game time but till then he has to warm the bench waiting for his chance to shine for the Catalunya side.