Ronald Koeman on the transfer market: “It depends on the club. If it’s not possible, I can depend on the players I have already.”

Ronald Koeman has been speaking to the press ahead of Barcelona‘s trip to San Mames tomorrow to take on Athletic Club. The Basque club have recently appointed Marcelino as coach.

Koeman was asked about Antoine Griezmann, who was signed for big money from Atletico Madrid in the summer of 2019 but has yet to consolidate his place in the Barcelona starting XI. In recent times, he’s been left to stew on the substitutes’ bench.

“I like Griezmann, but I have to choose between the players I have while playing with three midfielders and Ousmane [Dembele] is improving physically,” Koeman said in quotes carried by Marca.

Sergino Dest is a player who started the season well but has begun to turn out somewhat irregular performances at right back. For Koeman, such inconsistency is to be expected given his tender years and lack of experience.

“Dest has ups and downs during a match,” he said. “He’s started strong, but he’s just 19 years old and needs time to adapt. Like any footballer, he has the right to make mistakes and improve. I’m not disappointed because he’s young and that’s normal.”

The Dutch coach was also quizzed about the January transfer market, within which Barcelona have been linked with a host of names including Eric Garcia and Memphis Depay.

Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman

“Every coach always looks to the month of January and how the squad can be improved, just like I do,” Koeman said. “I have made a list of possible injuries and players that would be interesting to bring in. It depends on the club. If it’s not possible, I can depend on the players I have already.”

Koeman was also asked about Marcelino, the man Athletic have appointed in lieu of the sacked Gaizka Garitano, who was dismissed after Athletic’s 1-0 victory over Elche on January 2nd. He wasn’t unduly worried that the new coach could implement any radical changes that could catch him off guard.

“A new coach can change a rival’s system, although he’s only worked with his players for two days. I don’t think the influence will be very great. Marcelino has used 4-4-2 more but we must be prepared for all possible systems.”

Tags Barcelona Ronald Koeman