Leeds United have reportedly held talks with the agent of Barcelona midfielder Riqui Puig and Cesc Fabregas once claimed the Spanish talent had all the potential to become the new Andres Iniesta – back when he first emerged on the scene.
Puig, 21, is in dire need of game time to live up to his enormous hype. Just 16 senior outings for Barca, the midfielder is struggling to break into Ronald Koeman’s side – managing just three minutes under the Dutchman this season.
Football website 90Min have reported that Puig has been offered to Leeds on loan ahead of the January window. It is also claimed that Leeds have been in contact with Puig’s agent, who coincidentally has a release clause worth £88million (Squawka).
Back in 2018, Puig had broken into the Barcelona side and was training with the first team. At the start of last season, Fabregas told RAC1 – as per Tribuna – that Puig has what it takes to reach the level of Barca legend Iniesta.
“Riqui can become like Iniesta if coaches trust him. I know comparing him with Andres are big words but such a player could cost a fortune in today’s market. I’m sure Riqui can succeed, he just has to have the right attitude and improve,” Fabregas said.
TBR’s view – A no-brainer for Leeds, then?
Marcelo Bielsa likes to teach new signings the way of his Leeds side, no matter what the reputation of the player – a future Iniesta or not. So, if he joins on loan for the second half of the season, he hardly had the time to make an impression.
Jean-Kevin Augustin found that out the hard way. Injuries, a new style of football in a new country and Bielsa limited him to just three substitute appearances. Puig might suffer the same fate.
Adding a permanent option in a deal could make the deal more appetising to Leeds – but whether Puig sees his long-term future away from Barcelona remains to be seen. There is no doubting, though, that Puig is a top player with enormous potential.