Barcelona midfielder Riqui Puig is excited about the arrival of Memphis Depay at the Camp Nou and is looking forward to the start of the 2021-22 La Liga season.
Depay undertook his first pre-season training session with the club on Tuesday following his arrival on a free transfer from Lyon. Puig told Barca TV he thinks the Netherlands international will be a good addition to the squad, as reported by Sport.
“People have told me good things about him and I think he will be good for us,” he said. “He’s a goal scorer on a European level, one of the best around at the moment, and I think he will give us a lot. I’m excited to play with him and to win trophies alongside him.”
The Dutch forward will be officially presented as a Barcelona player on Thursday at the Camp Nou. The 27-year-old will sign his contract with the club and speak at a press conference.
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Puig Looking Forward To Nastic Clash
Barcelona step up preparations for the new campaign on Wednesday with a first pre-season friendly against Nastic at the Estadi Johan Cruyff. Puig also admitted he is eager to get back out on the pitch after enjoying some time off.
“We’re all excited, especially me,” he said. “After six weeks stopped, I think it will be good to get some rhythm. Above all, to see fans again as well, because I think it will be 50 per cent capacity. We’re really happy.”
Coach Ronald Koeman has named his squad for the match and included plenty of youngsters. The Dutchman is without a host of senior players due to their involvement at Euro 2020 and the Copa America.
Puig is one of just seven first-team regulars in the squad and will be hoping for a spot in the starting XI. Barca plays a second friendly on Saturday against Girona.
Puig ‘Really Happy’ At Barcelona
The young Barcelona midfielder will be hoping for more minutes in 2021-22 after struggling for game time under Koeman last season. The Dutchman’s unwillingness to trust Puig was a surprise last season but the youngster insists he’s happy at the club and looking forward to the new campaign.
“I am really happy. I was desperate to get back on the grass. It’s true we don’t have long holidays as footballers, but this year I had over a month and I am really happy to be back at the training ground with my teammates and doing what I most like.” he said. “We have a month to prepare for the start of the league and we’re building a really competitive team. We’ve got young players, we all want to win a lot of trophies and we’re excited for the season to begin.”
Puig still faces a battle to play regularly with Pedri, Sergio Busquets, and Frenkie de Jong still looking to be Koeman’s first-choice midfield trio. However, there are doubts over the futures of Ilaix Moriba and Miralem Pjanic which could mean more minutes for Puig next season.
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