BARCELONA

Koeman aims cruel dig at Riqui Puig

Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman has questioned Riqui Puig's commitment in training, just days after it was reported that he accused the player of leaking dressing room secrets.

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Koeman aims another cruel dig at Riqui Puig
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It is clear that Riqui Puig has been going through his most difficult moments at Barcelona since the arrival of coach Ronald Koeman, who has so far shown himself not to be one of the  player’s biggest admirers.

Riqui Puig’s relationship with the Dutch coach immediately got off on the wrong foot and soon after Koeman told the 21-year-old midfielder that he did not see him as part of his plans and he would be better off looking for a loan assignment at another club.

Following this, El País revealed last week that Koeman had aimed a damning accusation at Puig in front of the entire Barça squad, accusing him of being “the person leaking information” from inside the dressing.

The club had given the young midfielder the opportunity to leave through the back door in the summer, but in the end he decided to stay. He is now paying for the decision in the cruellest way possible by being denied game time. The Masia graduate has played a total of just 77 minutes this season and his stubbornness to succeed at Barcelona has proven to be his worst enemy.

Ronald Koeman has so far shown himself not to be a one of Riqui Puig's biggest admirers.

Koeman questions Riqui Puig’s commitment

And it seems the situation is showing no signs of improving as Koeman has now aimed a cruel dig at Riqui Puig by suggesting that one of the reasons that he has been overlooked is because his attitude in training leaves much to be desired – going as far as to compare him with fellow young team mate Ronald Araújo, whom the Dutch boss praised for his commitment and daily sacrifice.

“It doesn’t just depend on the technical quality of the player, but on other things. I like players who take the opportunities given to them with both hands. There may be players who in training do not do enough to change the coach's decision,” was Koeman’s response this Friday when asked about Riqui Puig's situation.

Now it remains to be seen if the Spanish midfielder will finally give up on trying to convince Koeman and look for a loan move in January until at least the end of the season, or whether he will decide to wait for the upcoming presidential elections on 24 January to see if the new president will prompt a change in the club’s sporting direction.