Lionel Messi has changed his mind on Barcelona’s future star for the better.
The La Masia graduate wants to establish himself as a regular for Barcelona but has been struggling to convince Quique Setien despite his impressive performances. Don Balon reports that the midfielder could be on his way out of Camp Nou due to his earlier dispute with the Argentine maestro, which could answer why Setien has been avoiding Puig on a regular basis.
Puig’s performances against Leganes, Sevilla and Athletic Bilbao has proven that he has immense talent and potential to establish himself alongside Frenkie de Jong and Sergio Busquets. But Setien has opted to use the 21-year-old only as a substitute despite his inspiring performances against Leganes and Athletic.
The Spanish international had been nearing a loan exit to other La Liga clubs like Celta de Vigo, Granada, and Real Betis, in order to continue his development. At the time, a loan deal was Puig’s best option to find regular minutes as Setien often opted for Arturo Vidal, Ivan Rakitic, or Sergi Roberto instead.
The match against Athletic Club, however, has changed the club and Messi’s opinion on the player entirely. Quique Setien’s men were truly struggling against Bilbao until the arrival of La Masia graduates, Ansu Fati and Riqui Puig.
The midfielder, however, was the only one that showed leadership, often seen charging into the opposition to regain lost possession and also had tremendous offensive contributions. His arrival completely altered the game’s pace and team’s dynamic for the better allowing the eventual goal from Ivan Rakitic that secured the three points for Barca.
Lionel Messi is now starting to believe that Puig could resolve the midfield issues at Camp Nou. Perhaps Setien will pick the youngster on a more regular basis while opting against his exit this summer.