After his breakthrough season under Quique Setien, Riqui Puig became somewhat of a cult figure for Barcelona fans who were screaming for some creativity in their midfield. He was touted to be the next big thing from La Masia; at least until Ronald Koeman came along.
The Dutchman refused to use Puig in his team, at all, for reasons still unknown. Meanwhile, Riqui, determined to succeed, refused to leave, building speed-breakers for any potential future employers.
Cut to two years later, the Spaniard is finally ready to leave, but it turns out he’s joining MLS giants LA Galaxy on a free transfer. It has been revealed by several sources that he did have offers from within Europe, but has almost finalised his move to Los Angeles.
He wore the legendary #6 at Barcelona, once donned by Xavi. This gives a free highway for Gavi to pick it up.
Also, from La Masia, Gavi has shown a lot of promise in just one season at Barcelona. He has become a regular in the Spanish national team, as well, alongside Pedri, and is touted to fight for the starting spot in Xavi’s midfield trident this season.
Not only that, there are several commercial benefits of giving Gavi the #6. Pedri has taken up Andres Iniesta’s #8 this season, and giving Gavi Xavi’s former number allows for a tremendous marketing opportunity for Barcelona.
His friendship with the former Las Palmas midfielder is well-known, and the duo have formed a decent relationship on the pitch as well.
It also gives into the idea that Barcelona are building a long-term project around youngsters such as the Spanish duo, among others like Nico Gonzalez, Jules Kounde, and Ronald Araujo.