Sport Riqui Puig should leave Barcelona on loan – Koeman
Barcelona's Riqui Puig is 'not part of Ronald Koeman's plans'
Barcelona's new manager Ronald Koeman has plenty of options in midfield this season, and it appears he wants to cut youngster Riqui Puig from his bloated first-team squad.Barcelona's new boss left Puig out of the squad for Saturday's Joan Gamper Trophy match against Elche.
Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman has told Riqui Puig he should leave the club on loan.
Puig, 21, has been linked with a move from Barca, and played no part in Saturday's 1-0 Joan Gamper Trophy win over Elche at Camp Nou.
Koeman said while Puig was part of his plans, the midfielder should look for short-term opportunities elsewhere.
"I've told [Riqui Puig] that he has a future here, but it depends on the player," he said, via Marca.
Koeman claims Barcelona are in 'better shape physically'
Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman praised his side's fighting spirit and discipline after they eased to a 3-0 win at Celta Vigo on Thursday despite playing the entire second half with 10 men. Barca defender Clement Lenglet was sent off for a second bookable offence in the 41st minute when Barca were 1-0 up thanks to an early strike from Ansu Fati.But the Catalans played even better with 10 men and deservedly extended their lead through an own goal from Lucas Olaza, forced by a superb run by Lionel Messi, and a goal in added time from Sergi Roberto.
"I'd recommend that he went out on loan.
"At 20 years of age, the young players have to play. They can't get stuck for a period of time.
"We've got three weeks and we've got competition."
Antoine Griezmann's early goal helped Barca past Elche, as the forward, Ansu Fati, Lionel Messi and Philippe Coutinho all started.
Coutinho is back from his loan spell at Bayern Munich and Koeman talked up the playmaker.
"Let's hope we can see a great version of him. For me, he's a great player," he said.
"He works well physically and with the ball. He's an important player for the team."
Barcelona will begin their LaLiga season against Villarreal on September 27.
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The Catalan giants have made a strong start under their new coach, who believes his side are being underestimatedAnsu Fati opened the scoring for Barca, who then managed to add a further two goals in the second-half despite playing with 10 men after the dismissal of Clement Lenglet.