Ronald Koeman names first Barcelona squad for Villarreal clash: Rafinha Alcantara the surprise inclusion

Barcelona have named their first matchday squad under new boss Ronald Koeman with midfielder Rafinha Alcantara the surprise inclusion on the 23-man list.

It had been thought that Rafinha would not be included for the club this season and an exit was imminent after he was not handed a squad number for the 2020/21 campaign, but it appears that Koeman has made a u-turn on his future.

Rafinha, 27, had been on a season long loan deal at Celta from the Camp Nou – where he made 90 first-team appearances – and he spent the second half of the 2017/18 campaign on loan at Inter, but has now returned.

Rafinha played 30 games for the Galician club last season – 29 in La Liga and one in the Copa del Rey – scoring four goals and providing one assist.

There are four absentees for the Blaugrana: goalkeeper Marc André Ter Stegen, striker Martin Brainthwaite, defender Samuel Umtiti and midfielder Matheus Fernandes are all unavailable, as per Diario AS.

Five players from the B team squad are included on the list – Riqui Puig, Iñaki Peña, Ronald Araujo, Arnau Tenas and Mingo.

Barcelona matchday squad v Villarreal: Neto, Sergi Roberto, Piqué, Alba, Lenglet, Junior, Sergio Busquets, Pjanic, De Jong, Aleñá, Pedri, Rafinha, Griezmann, Messi, Trincao, Dembélé, Coutinho, Fati, Peña, Araujo, Riqui Puig, Mingo, Tenas.

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