5 Barcelona players who are out of favour under Ronald Koeman

Ronald Koeman has divided Barcelona's fanbase
Ronald Koeman has divided Barcelona's fanbase

Barcelona's trials and tribulations over the last two years have been the subject of several discussions and debates in the football community. The Catalan giants have suffered from severe bouts of mismanagement and did not have particularly smooth transition periods under Ernesto Valverde and Quique Setien.

The Blaugrana's house of cards came crashing down in the UEFA Champions League last year after Bayern Munich handed the Spanish giants a historic defeat. Quique Setien was relieved of his duties and legendary Barcelona defender Ronald Koeman was picked as his successor.

Ronald Koeman has made some key squad decisions at Barcelona

Ronald Koeman has a mixed track record as a manager and has been criticised in the past for failed stints at Everton and Valencia. The Dutch manager does have a knack with younger players but has often divided the Barcelona fanbase with shades of alleged selective treatment.

Barcelona are moving on from the old guard to a new set of exciting players this season and Ronald Koeman has done a fairly positive job with the Catalans' line-ups and style of play. There are a few names in the Barcelona squad, however, that will be particularly upset with some of Koeman's decisions this season and might decide to pursue greener pastures.

#5 Samuel Umtiti

Samuel Umtiti has not had it easy at Barcelona
Samuel Umtiti has not had it easy at Barcelona

When Samuel Umtiti arrived at Barcelona, he was hailed as the second coming of the legendary Carles Puyol. A few years on, however, the French defender is a shadow of his former self and seems well on his way out of the club.

Umtiti's injury woes at Barcelona have kept him out of contention for most of the season. The Frenchman did start a few games towards the end of last season but did not impress the management with his shaky performances. With Oscar Mingueza and Ronald Araujo making their mark on the first team, Samuel Umtiti's time at Barcelona seems to be inching towards its end.

Umtiti did start against Granada last week and managed to keep a clean sheet but is set to lose his place in the line-up when Araujo makes his return from injury. With Barcelona intent on bringing Eric Garcia back to Catalunya, Samuel Umtiti's days at the club are numbered.

#4 Junior Firpo

Junior Firpo has struggled at Barcelona
Junior Firpo has struggled at Barcelona

Junior Firpo was always going to be behind Jordi Alba in Barcelona's pecking order but his lack of playing time this season has been startling. Former Real Betis manager was tipped to bring the best out of the full-back but was unable to summon his talents during his short stay at the club.

Ronald Koeman has been subtly dismissive of Junior Firpo this season and opted to field right-back Sergino Dest on the left flank ahead of the former Real Betis defender. With only three appearances in La Liga this season, Junior Firpo is unlikely to stay at Barcelona another whole year.

Jordi Alba has also recovered from his injury and is likely to keep Junior Firpo on the bench for the remainder of the season. Ronald Koeman has been abundantly clear on his squad preferences this season and is likely to offload the 24-year-old defender in the coming months.

Also Read: Top 5 English midfielders in football (2020/21)

#3 Miralem Pjanic

Pjanic has not cemented his place at Barcelona
Pjanic has not cemented his place at Barcelona

Miralem Pjanic was a part of a heavily publicised summer swap involving Barcelona, Juventus, and Arthur Melo last year. The Bosnian midfielder has been intent on forging a formidable partnership with Frenkie de Jong at the heart of Barcelona's midfield but has found Ronald Koeman to be a surprisingly hard man to please.

Miralem Pjanic has started only three La Liga games this season and has been unable to usurp Sergio Busquets as Barcelona's premier defensive midfielder. The former Juventus star has been vocal about his ambitions at the club and has already voiced his disappointment with the current situation.

Ronald Koeman has found some solace in the 4-3-3 system this year and Miralem Pjanic will have to seize every opportunity that comes his way to convince Ronald Koeman of his mettle. The Bosnian star has chipped in with reliable performances at the Catalan club but is yet to hit the heights that made him one of the first names on the team sheet at Juventus.

#2 Matheus Fernandes

Matheus Fernandes has not made an impact. Image Source:
Matheus Fernandes has not made an impact. Image Source:

Barcelona signed Matheus Fernandes as a highly-rated wonderkid from Brazilian club Palmeiras last year. The defensive midfielder spent most of his first year on Spain on loan to Real Valladolid before returning to his parent club at the start of the 2020-21 season under Ronald Koeman.

Six months have passed since his stint with Barcelona's first team and the youngster is yet to make a La Liga appearance with the Blaugrana. The midfielder has had some misfortune with his fitness this season but has found first-team minutes severely hard to come by upon his return.

Matheus Fernandes did make a cameo appearance against Dynamo Kyiv in the UEFA Champions League and has found a place in Ronald Koeman's squad for the Spanish Super Cup. With La Masia sensation Ilaix Moriba making massive strides in recent weeks, however, Fernandes will likely opt for a loan spell away from Barcelona in search of a few more minutes on the football field.

#1 Riqui Puig

Riqui Puig has been sidelined at Barcelona
Riqui Puig has been sidelined at Barcelona

Riqui Puig was one of the brightest sparks at Barcelona last year and his midfield performances against some of Spain's biggest teams were a throwback to the Blaugrana's golden era. Puig was earmarked for success at the club and was a seamless addition to the first team.

With Ronald Koeman's arrival at the club, however, Riqui Puig has seemed to fall down the pecking order at Barcelona. Much to the anguish of the club's fanbase, Koeman's insistence on snubbing Riqui Puig over the course of this season has resulted in an air of uncertainty around the youngster's future.

Riqui Puig has always impressed when given a chance at Barcelona and his substitute appearances against Granada and Real Sociedad over the past week will have given Ronald Koeman plenty to think about. The Catalan youngster showed plenty of heart to score Barcelona's winning penalty in the Spanish Super Cup semi-finals and seems intent on standing by his boyhood club.

Also Read: 5 managers who have underperformed this season (2020/21)

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Edited by Aditya Hosangadi
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