Riqui Puig tipped to leave Barcelona in January

Barcelona midfielder Riqui Puig has been tipped to leave the club in January by an overwhelming majority of correspondents to a poll in Marca.

It comes as the central midfielder has featured in just nine minutes of first-team action for the club this season and has now been omitted from the call-ups to the Spain Under-21 squad.

87 percent of the 40,000 respondents in the poll believe the midfielder will leave the club on a loan deal in January, with just 13 percent voting that he would stay.

Back in September, Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman opened the door for the central midfielder leaving on a temporary basis this season as he is not in his plans, despite the exits of Arthur Melo, Ivan Rakitic and Arturo Vidal, although Miralem Pjanic did arrive at the Camp Nou.

Koeman said, as per Marca: “I speak with young people, they must play. They cannot be here without playing. I have told him that it is complicated and that there is a lot of competition. But he has a future here, although it depends on the player. I would recommend him to go on loan. At 21, young people must play.

The 21-year-old made three senior appearances for the Catalan giants in 2018/19 and is widely regarded as one of the brightest talents to come through their La Masia academy in years.

Puig made his La Liga debut on 13 April 2019, starting in a 0–0 draw against Huesca, and played 67 minutes, before starting in a 2-0 defeat to Celta Vigo in May.

The midfielder made his senior team debut with first team against Cultural Leonesa in a 4–1 home victory in the Copa Del Rey in December 2018, as he came on in the 55th minute and assisted the fourth goal. He described his debut as ‘a dream come true’.

It was not until Quique Setien’s appointment at the Camp Nou earlier this year that Puig enjoyed prolonged prominence in the club’s matchday squads as he made 12 appearances last season.

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