Yusuf Demir disappears from Koeman's plans putting Barça future in doubt

The young Austrian has not played for five games after featuring regularly early on this season

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Ferran Correas

Yusuf Demir has fallen out of Ronald Koeman's plans. The Dutch coach has stopped giving the youngster minutes. He has not featured in any of the last five matches.

Demir's last appearance was on Sept. 26, when he played nine minutes after starting the previous two games against Granada and Cadiz.

In the Champions League, he played half an hour against Bayern Munich, becoming the second-youngest foreign player to represent the club in the competition after Lionel Messi. He didn't play against Benfica or Dynamo Kyiv.

His lack of participation since has shown Barca went too quickly with him. He joined in the summer on loan from Rapid Vienna for a €500,000 to strengthen the B team, but joined the first team due to his potential.

Demir, 18, did preseason with the first team and stood out in the friendlies. With so many forwards injured -- Dembele, Ansu and Aguero at the time -- he got more and more chances and was eventually given the No.11 shirt.

It's even been speculated that Barça would take up their option to make the deal permanent for €10 million at the end of the season.

A couple of months later, the expectation has fizzled out. The return of injured players was always going to take minutes away from him, but Koeman lost confidence in him before being able to count on Ansu and Aguero properly.

That is shown perfectly in the fact Sergiño Dest has been preferred as a right-winger. The club explain that the player did not perform as expected when given a chance against Granada and Cadiz.

"He did well in preseason, but the pressure weighed on him when the season started," a source says. "He stopped trying to take players on, he didn't take risks. The ball would come to him and he would always play short."

The season is long but his lack of minutes means the club are no longer considering making the move permanent. And we will have to see how much he plays because the option becomes obligatory if he plays 45 minutes in more than 20 games with the first team -- 18 to go.

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