Collado will get more chances than Puig, says Barcelona boss Setien

By Sports Desk February 08, 2020

Barcelona supporters can expect to see more of young attacker Alex Collado but head coach Quique Setien admitted Riqui Puig's first-team chances could be limited this season.

Collado has made just one LaLiga appearance this term, playing for five minutes as a substitute in Barca's 2-0 defeat at Valencia in January, while Puig has played for 22 minutes across two cameos.

The pair are seen as two of the club's brightest prospects as established players like Lionel Messi and Sergio Busquets enter the latter stages of their careers, and Setien indicated that Collado's ability to play as part of a front three means he is of more immediate use than central midfielder Puig.

"They are two very different kind of players," Setien told reporters.

"We try to think which player we need most at certain times of the game. They're two very good players and they've both got chances to play. We're getting to know them better every day.

"We're seeing what they're capable of doing for us in every training session. It's a time of learning.

"With Riqui there are a lot of players in the position where he would normally play but Collado, playing up front, he's going to get chances. We'll have to see how things go."

Setien saw his players get knocked out of the Copa del Rey on Thursday, when they were beaten 1-0 by Athletic Bilbao.

As he prepared for Sunday's trip to face his former club Real Betis, he reflected on the positive aspects of that game and indicated he is hopeful of ending a three-game winless run on the road in LaLiga.

"It's about the dynamic of how this team has been playing away from home for some time," said Setien. "The other day I thought we improved a lot but unfortunately the result didn't go our way.

"We need to try to take the good conclusions from that game and it's a question of getting back out onto the pitch, playing another game. There's not much time to dwell on your sorrows at this club. You need to be fresh and lucid.

"We've improved a lot. We're seeing continuity but the three points are important because we want to be chasing for the title until the end.

"It's time to ratify the improvement in the cup at a really difficult ground.

"We were hurt by losing the cup game but we've learned a lot from it."

Related items

  • Ceballos uncertain on Arsenal future and 'wants to be important' Ceballos uncertain on Arsenal future and 'wants to be important'

    Dani Ceballos recognises he faces an uncertain future at Arsenal and wants to "be important for my new team".

    Spain midfielder Ceballos is on a season-long loan at the Gunners from Real Madrid, a deal which is due to expire on June 30.

    With nearly all of European football on lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, it remains to be seen when or even if the season will be finished and what the situation is for players like Ceballos if the campaign heads into July.

    Ceballos has had a hit-and-miss time at Arsenal, missing chunks of the season due to injury, but had worked his way into Mikel Arteta's plans before the Premier League ground to a halt.

    And the 23-year-old is unsure how things will pan out.

    "I finish my contract on June 30 but I would have to [continue to] play for Arsenal [when football returns]. I don't know how [that would work with his loan technically having finished]," he told El Chiringuito de Jugones.

    "It would be irresponsible from my side to talk about my future. The most important thing will be to be important for my new team. 

    "I came to Arsenal to be an important player but in the last month that all disappeared [due to coronavirus stopping football]."

    In January, it was reported Valencia were interested in taking over Ceballos' loan, while he has also been linked with Sevilla.

    However, the latter move is not one that particularly appeals given he used to play for Sevilla's fierce rivals Real Betis.

    "I knew about Valencia's interest in having my services. There was also talk of Sevilla and Betis," he added.

    "When they connect you with these teams it is for a reason. I am very Betis and it would be difficult for me to play for Sevilla. 

    "I would only play for Betis, it is my team and the one that gave me the opportunity to be a footballer. I did not get to speak with Julen Lopetegui to sign for Sevilla."

  • Rumour Has It: Neymar, Martinez or both? Barcelona's big decision Rumour Has It: Neymar, Martinez or both? Barcelona's big decision

    Neymar, Lautaro Martinez or both? Barcelona may have a decision to make this close season.

    Neymar has been linked with a return to Camp Nou, while the LaLiga giants are also reportedly interested in Inter star Martinez.

    Barcelona could be forced to choose between the two in the next transfer window.

     

    TOP STORY – NEYMAR, MARTINEZ OR BOTH? BARCELONA'S BIG DECISION

    Barcelona want both Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar and Inter's Martinez but know it will be difficult to land the duo, according to Sport.

    It reports landing Martinez is shaping to be easier as Inter are willing to accept players as part of a deal.

    Martinez has scored 16 goals in 31 games for Inter this season, while Neymar has netted 18 times in 22 appearances for PSG.

    ROUND-UP

    - Manchester United could be turning to an old target. ESPN reports the Premier League club are prepared to make a bid for Juventus defender Matthijs de Ligt if the Serie A giants are open to a sale this close season.

    - Harry Kane's future at Tottenham seemingly remains unclear. But The Daily Mail says Spurs are confident of keeping the forward, who said on Monday he would not stay at the club just "for the sake of it".

    - It looks like Jadon Sancho to Liverpool will not be happening. The Mirror claims the Premier League leaders are not targeting the Borussia Dortmund star, leaving United and Chelsea as the English clubs still in the chase.

    - Where will Philippe Coutinho end up next season? Sport reports Leicester City are interested in a loan deal for the playmaker, who is on loan at Bayern Munich from Barcelona. Staying at Camp Nou and Sport says Barcelona are considering a move for Layvin Kurzawa, who is out of contract at PSG at season's end, as a back-up to Jordi Alba.

    - Edinson Cavani is also out of contract at the end of the season at PSG, but CalcioMercato reports the Uruguayan striker will not be joining Atletico Madrid, the club he has been linked to.

    - With Alexis Sanchez set to return to Manchester United from his loan spell at Inter, The Sun reports the club will be forced to pay the attacker a £1.1million loyalty payment.

  • Godin likens Barca target Martinez to Suarez & Aguero Godin likens Barca target Martinez to Suarez & Aguero

    Diego Godin compared in-demand Inter team-mate Lautaro Martinez to Luis Suarez and Manchester City's Sergio Aguero amid links to Barcelona.

    Martinez has reportedly emerged as Barca's top transfer target, with the LaLiga champions keen to sign a long-term replacement for veteran forward Suarez.

    Barca's LaLiga rivals Madrid are also reportedly interested, while Premier League giants Manchester United and Manchester City have both been linked.

    Inter defender Godin heaped praise on 22-year-old Argentina international Martinez, who had scored 16 goals across all competitions before Serie A was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

    "Lautaro is similar to Luis and Sergio Aguero," the Uruguayan centre-back told ESPN.

    "He's learning to play using his whole body, with his back to the ball. He's a football player.

    "His confidence has a high ceiling and he's maturing with every match. You can spot things in him that tell you he'll be around for 10 or 15 years."

    Martinez swapped Racing Club for Inter in 2018 and he has quickly established himself as one of the most sought-after forwards in European football.

    He has scored 25 goals in total since joining Inter from Racing Club in Argentina.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.