Effectively six players of the Barcelona squad, are no longer in the plans of Ronald Koeman this season, because of the latest results, which aren’t to the taste of the Dutchman.
As we enter the second international truce of the season, it is time to make a first assessment of the Ronald Koeman era in Catalonia. On the level of the results, the Dutchman and his troops could do much better, as they are eighth in La Liga, with one or two less matches than most of the teams in front of them. In Europe, the Blaugranas have been a force to be reckoned with, with three victories in as many Champions League matches. In the game, it’s quite interesting despite some defensive shortcomings, and the attacking players manage to flourish.
Good and not so good, but also controversial choices, to say the least. Ronald Koeman has decided to do without the services of several players completely, with AS revealing the list of players on the coach’s blacklist. And if there’s one case that arouses a certain incomprehension, it’s Riqui Puig, who had nevertheless shown qualities in the second half of last season. The player trained at La Masia has only played… 3 minutes this season, entering the game against Getafe in La Liga. Especially because in the double pivot concocted by the Dutchman, Sergio Busquets and Frenkie de Jong are not always on level terms.
Six players on the starting blocks
A similar case can be found for Carles Aleñá, although the latter is generally less appreciated than Puig. He only played for 6 minutes under the former Batave coach’s orders. Next comes Martin Braitwhaite, who has also disappeared after having had a lot of playing time with Quique Setién just a few weeks ago. The Dane has only spent 38 minutes on the field this season.
For Samuel Umtiti, it is almost a logical choice that doesn’t suffer from any contestation, just like Junior Firpo (28 minutes this season), who has never proven to be at the level on the left side of the defence. Finally, Brazilian Matheus Fernandes has simply never been included in Ronald Koeman’s list for a match this season and he is, along with the French centre-back, the only player who hasn’t played a single minute. Here are six players who have every chance of packing their bags as early as January…