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Man City would be quite smart to exploit this 21-year-old Barca starlet’s situation under Koeman

BARCELONA, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 16: Riqui Puig of FC Barcelona runs with the ball during the during the pre-season friendly match between FC Barcelona and Girona at Estadi Johan Cruyff on September 16, 2020 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

Why Manchester City should jump at the chance to snap up Riqui Puig

According to The Sun, the contract situation of Riqui Puig has put Manchester City on alert. The 21-year-old’s contract expires this summer but Barcelona want to extend his contract so that he does not walk out for free. The academy star has had difficulties with new manager Ronald Koeman and has received very less game time this season.

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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 the youth ranks 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’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 via Getty Images)

He was handed his first-team debut in December 2018 against Cultural Leonesa in a Copa del Rey game. In 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.

Puig can be one for the future at City

Over the last few seasons, Man City have not been afraid to spend big on youngsters such as Gabriel Jesus or thrust academy players such as Phil Foden into their first-team. They recruited a 20-year-old Ferran Torres who is starring for the team this season. It shows how far they have come when it comes to trusting in youth.

The nifty, fleet-footed diminutive midfielder 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.

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)

It is rather surprising that Ronald Koeman and Puig are at loggerheads. This has resulted in the player getting sidelined and not receiving any game time. That, in turn has resulted in his development getting stagnated. City should try to take advantage of this situation.

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It might look like City don’t need another midfielder with the likes of De Bruyne, Foden and Silva in the ranks. But the fact is Puig wouldn’t be brought in to make an instant impact. He will be one for the future. So a move for him in the summer should be a no-brainer.

Written by Sourav Ghosh

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