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Leeds United target Barcelona starlet Riqui Puig

The young midfielder’s contract expires in the summer and is looking for game time elsewhere.

Getafe CF v FC Barcelona - La Liga Santander
Riqui Puig features for Barca at Getafe’s Coliseum Alfonso Perez - his three minutes of league football so far were played here.
Photo by Alejandro Rios/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Leeds United have been in contact with the agent of Barcelona product Riqui Puig with the view of a loan deal, according to reports.

90min first reported the contact, claiming that Puig’s agent contacted The Whites along with others to engineer a loan move for more minutes in the coming months. At the time of writing Riqui Puig has played just three minutes in La Liga this season while playing 25 minutes in The Champions League.

Despite this, Barcelona’s fans are desperate to see more Puig on the pitch as the Spanish giants are struggling through a transitional period under Ronald Koeman. The midfielder made an impressive cameo against Dynamo Kyiv, which could encourage Koeman to keep him in the team despite encouraging him to leave on loan last summer.

“I’ve told [Puig] that he has a future here, but it depends on the player. I’d recommend that he went out on loan. The young players have to play. They can’t get stuck for a period of time,” said Koeman.

Barcelona publication SPORT have also backed the claims that Leeds could be interested in a loan deal and that contact has been made. However, they also state that Puig’s mind is nowhere else but Barcelona, and is determined to fight for a place in Koeman’s team as his contract runs down.

But if he doesn’t get the minutes he needs, it’s only a matter of time until he leaves on loan or permanently, with several clubs around Europe showing interest.

What kind of player is Riqui Puig?

He’s a small, nippy, technically gifted midfielder who has excellent vision and provides decent defensive output.

An impressive dribbler, Puig is excellent when under pressure as he has averaged two successful dribbles per game since 2018-19 according to FBRef. Not only does he like to play as a deep-lying playmaker, but he also makes similar runs in the box to Mateusz Klich.

The 21-year-old grabbed two assists last season from five-and-a-half games worth of minutes while scoring two and assisting three for Barcelona B. He’s been compared to Andres Iniesta in his young career and has been lauded by some of the best in the business, including Cesc Fabregas.

This will be one to keep an eye on as the youngster looks to make the breakthrough into senior football.