Riqui Puig continues to shine for Barça B after being given a free role

García Pimienta wants Riqui to be the heatbeat of his team and for him to be more involved in the final third

Riqui Puig fue titular ante el Orihuela
Riqui Puig fue titular ante el Orihuela | DAVID RAMÍREZ

In Barça B's match against Orihuela, the opposition had no choice but to try and take out Riqui Puig as they simply had no way of stopping him. The youngster is flourishing in his new 'free' role in midfield and this is allowing him to find pockets of space and cause defenders to panic.

Dídac Peyret

@didacpeyret

IN SPORT.ES

It's a more mature version of Riqui, just as we saw from Aleña in his final season with the B side, as he looks to influence the entire match from the centre of the pitch. 

Alongside Jandro, Monchu and Collado, the youngster was allowed to venture further forward. 

"These players are at an incredible level and when they begin to play, if they get it right, things can happen as they did in the first half," admitted head coach Garcia Pimienta.

With each passing content, Riqui looks a level above the one he's currently playing at.

At the start of the season, Riqui's objective was to prove he could be as influential away from home as he is at the Johan Cruyff stadium. Garcia Pimienta felt like certain teams and certain stadiums wouldn't suit the youngster's style of play. But as the weeks go by, Riqui is proving himself capable of making a real difference and already has two goals to his name.

The physical attacks he has to face, as opposition players look to put him off his natural game, aren't working. That won't come as a surprise to some of his teammates in the first team who have seen his progression.

It could be a tough season for Riqui as there's no room for him in the first-team picture at the moment as Valverde has too many midfielders to choose from. Aleña is struggling to make match day squads and Rakitic is now on the bench. 

"He's got great potential but we've got a lot of players in midfield. Puig is going to play for the second team. It's an advantage for him because he'll get regular minutes as well as being available for the first team," admitted Valverde back in August.

Riqui is happy to wait for his time to shine in the Copa del Rey and refused to leave on loan this summer. He doesn't want to play for anyone else in LaLiga, only Barça. This despite some people believing his development wouldn't be helped by playing for the B side.

There's only one dream that matters for Riqui and that's finding his place in Barça's first-team.

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