It's not easy to find a solution for Riqui Puig and Barcelona know it. The sensation is growing that he cannot continue in Spain's third division. Luckily he's avoided a serious injury to date, but there are fears he could get hurt one day, which would halt his progression.
There's an internal debate. Things are not black and white. He's been on the end of some tough tackles recently but, fortunately, the latest, on Saturday, does not seem serious.
There are three options on the table:
1.- Continue in Segunda B
This was the option chosen in the summer once it was clear he would not feature for the first team regularly. His desire to succeed as a Barcelona player lead to the decision, as opposed to a loan.
He's probably the person least concerned by the kicks he receives. He feels it is part of the process. The club agreed it would be good to play regularly for Barça B. But there are now doubts given how he has been targeted in the early stages of the season by the opposition.
2.- January loan
Therefore, the option of following Oriol Busquets and Juan Miranda's path comes up. A loan to another club.
He would not lack offers. Barça would only want to listen to a club with similar ideas who could offer him minutes and help him grow as a player. If it's abroad, that could be a better option, away from the media spotlight. In this sense, the Eredivisie is a good option.
3.- First team promotion
This is the option Riqui is fighting for. The midfielder represents the club's DNA and is good on the ball and in possession.
But what he wants and what he gets is another thing. Barça are stacked in midfield. Sergi Roberto, De Jong, Busquet, Arthur, Rakitic, Arturo Vidal and Aleña are all options. The fierce competition has forced Oriol Busquets and Coutinho to look elsewhere.
He will get a chance in the Copa del Rey but is that enough?