Miralem Pjanic’s departure to Besiktas has caused quite a stir at Barcelona. The Bosnian spoke frankly about his experience working under Ronald Koeman, claiming it to be one of the strangest relationships he’s ever had with a coach. Koeman, he claimed, disrespected him and treated him like a teenager.
According to Mundo Deportivo, however, Koeman’s reasons for not picking Pjanic were down to characteristics rather than quality. Koeman knows Pjanic is a talented player, but believed that the Bosnian’s style of play didn’t suit what he wanted out of his midfielders. He saw him as too defensive.
For Koeman, the player who sits in the pivot needs to be able to pressure the opponent high up the pitch, even more so than Sergio Busquets does. That’s why Koeman chose Frenkie de Jong over Pjanic, who was schooled primarily in the slower art of Italian defending. Koeman never asked for Pjanic; he was foisted upon him by the Barcelona board. He was never his player.