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Leeds offered the chance to sign 21-year-old rising Barcelona starlet – Should Bielsa take it?

Barcelona's Spanish midfielder Riqui Puig controls the ball during the Spanish League football match between Celta Vigo and Barcelona at the Balaidos stadium in Vigo on June 27, 2020. (Photo by STR / AFP) (Photo by STR/AFP via Getty Images)

Why Riqui Puig would be a fantastic signing for Leeds United

According to 90min (h/t Leeds Live), Leeds United have been offered the chance to sign Riqui Puig on loan. The Barcelona starlet has fallen out of favour at the club despite enjoying a fantastic breakthrough season last time around.

He has been made known by Ronald Koeman that he does not feature in his plans for this current season. The report states that the player’s agent has been in touch with Leeds.

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A product of Barcelona’s famed La Masia academy, he joined the academy in 2013. Over the next few seasons, he moved up various youth levels to finally get promoted to the Barcelona B side in 2018.

It was from there that Puig really took the reserves by storm with his performances. He made a total of 56 appearances across two seasons, scoring 2 goals and assisting 10. During that time, he was often called up to the senior team.

BARCELONA, SPAIN – DECEMBER 05: Riqui Puig of FC Barcelona controls the ball during the Copa del Rey fourth round second leg match between FC Barcelona and Cultural Leonesa at Camp Nou on December 05, 2018 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images)

He was handed his first-team debut in December 2018 against Cultural Leonesa in a Copa del Rey game. The same season in April 2019, he was handed his La Liga debut against SD Huesca. It was only this season that he was officially promoted to the first-team. The playmaker is currently a part of the Spain U-21 side, with 3 appearances to date.

Leeds need a playmaker like Puig

While Leeds did enjoy a good start on their return to the Premier League, a couple of losses have somewhat brought them back to reality. It’s not that they have a bad squad but it’s just that they need better quality players to tackle the beast that the Premier League is.

Their squad looks adept in most departments but there seems to be some chinks when it comes to creative midfielders. Tyler Roberts and Pablo Hernandez are their only two players in that position, while Rodrigo Moreno has been shoehorned there this season.

Barcelona’s Argentinian forward Lionel Messi (L) and teammate Barcelona’s Spanish midfielder Riqui Puig look on during the Spanish league football match between Deportivo Alaves and FC Barcelona at the Mendizorroza stadium in Vitoria on July 19, 2020. (Photo by ANDER GILLENEA/AFP via Getty Images)

Roberts is too young to be relied on. Hernandez is running on his last legs at 35 and Rodrigo is a makeshift attacking midfielder. It is clear that another playmaker is needed at Elland Road and Riqui Puig could be their man.

The nifty, fleetfooted diminutive midfielder, often likened to Andres Iniesta, drew rave reviews for his performances for Barcelona last season. He provided a breath of fresh air in a stagnating midfield with his passes, touches and final balls. Even if it is on a loan deal, Puig should be signed by Leeds.

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He is just 21 and is looking for first-team football, something Marcelo Bielsa can likely offer him at Elland Road. With Monaco and RB Leipzig also interested in him, Leeds should hurry to complete a deal in January itself.

Written by Sourav Ghosh

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