It’s not every day you see your team get linked with a player who’s been dubbed as “Barcelona’s next Lionel Messi” but for Leeds United, it’s becoming all the more common.
And now, Barcelona midfielder Riqui Puig has also been linked with a move to Elland Road with 90min claiming that the 21-year-old’s agent has been in contact with Leeds over a possible loan move.
According to EuroSport, “he’s been tipped by some to be Barcelona’s next Lionel Messi” and is allowed to go out on loan in the January transfer window.
We failed to see the speculation surrounding Almada amount to anything in the summer but are the links to Puig a lot more solid?
Bleacher Report adds that before sending him out on loan, Barca are being very particular about the club they want the 21-year-old to join as they want him to play for a team “who play a certain brand of football”.
Leeds’ brand of football is well known.
Fluid, energetic and possession-based. It sounds a bit like the Barca we all know about, doesn’t it?
We’re not going to start saying we agree Puig is the next Messi or anything like that because at the end of the day, if the Spain Under-21 midfield had even half the ability of the Nou Camp legend, he would be starting for Barca every week.
But unfortunately for Puig, he’s earned just three minutes of game-time in La Liga this season when he came off the bench against Getafe in October.
Since then, he’s been an unused substitute in the league but was handed a 25-minute cameo as Barca beat Dynamo Kyiv in the Champions League last week.
According to stats by WyScout, Puig completed both of the two dribbles he attempted versus Kyiv while also having one touch inside the penalty area and making two progressive runs.
It was an impressive outing by Ronald Koeman’s fringe player.
Puig must be a good player to be compared to Messi and we would be very excited if Leeds managed to sign him on loan in January.
But if Barca are being particular about the club he joins, it’s unlikely they’d let him join a club whose manager is known to have a long bedding-in process and will put his own players ahead of loanees where there’s no hope of a permanent deal – as seen with Jean-Kevin Augustin and Eddie Nketiah last season.
In other Leeds United news, this Leeds loanee suffered an injury blow at the weekend.