Koeman prefers Barcelona B midfielder as Puig further falls down the priority ladder – report

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Barca Universal

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With the 2021 preseason almost halfway over, FC Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman is getting more of an idea of who will play in his side and how much he will rely on them. As far as the club’s Twittersphere is concerned, the integration of Riqui Puig into the first team’s dynamics is of utmost necessity.

Thus far, in friendlies against Nastic de Tarragona, or Girona, the 21-year-old has played for a combined 105 minutes (excluding stoppage time). In his place and as a substitute, one man has seen an unprecedented rise to prominence: Juvenil A midfielder, Pablo Gaviera or as he is more colloquially known, Gavi.

According to journalist Gerard Romero, Ronald Koeman has taken a surprise liking to the latter, and with reason. So impressed has he been by the youngster, in fact, that the Dutch manager sees him ahead of Riqui in the pecking order.

At only 15-years-old, Gavi was promoted to the Garnet and Blue’s Juvenil A (U19), a rare feat for people in his age bracket. Much like Ilaix Moriba, he has consistently demonstrated his precocious dexterity, landing him in groups none would have expected him to.

Gavi’s recent cameo performances for the Blaugrana have come to the surprise of both his manager and Cules.

As such an exciting prospect for the future, there is little doubt that his sheer skill on the ball will not land him more minutes with Koeman’s side. A promotion into the first team might not be likely, at least not this year.

Nevertheless with his rate of development, as well as the fact that the first team manager already sees him above someone almost six years his senior, means that he might feature a bit more in the coming season than anyone might have expected.

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