5 Barcelona players who have improved under Ronald Koeman

Ronald Koeman has made interesting decisions at Barcelona
Ronald Koeman has made interesting decisions at Barcelona
Aditya Hosangadi

#3 Ronald Araujo

Araujo has been excellent this season
Araujo has been excellent this season

Barcelona's defensive problems have cost them several important matches over the past two years. With Gerard Pique approaching the end of his career and the likes of Lenglet and Umtiti flattering to deceive on the biggest of stages, the introduction of Ronald Araujo to the Barcelona first team has been a breath of fresh air.

Araujo is arguably one of the fastest centre-backs in La Liga and his recoveries have dragged Barcelona out of trouble on several occasions. The Uruguayan defender has seized his opportunity with aplomb and is set to keep his place in Barcelona's starting eleven.

Alongside La Masia graduate Oscar Mingueza, Ronald Araujo has faced stern challenges in La Liga over the past two months and has become one of Ronald Koeman's trusted charges. Barcelona have a congested fixture list for the remainder of the season and will have to rely on the young Uruguayan and his incredible pace and poise.

#2 Frenkie de Jong

Frenkie de Jong has been impressive this season
Frenkie de Jong has been impressive this season

Barcelona have always relied on their former players in managerial roles in the recent past and Ronald Koeman was an automatic choice after the Catalans parted ways with Quique Setien. The Catalan giants had also signed Frenkie de Jong from Ajax and Ronald Koeman's appointment was expected to do wonders for the prodigious Dutch midfielder.

Following a transitional period in the 4-2-3-1 system under Koeman, De Jong has excelled in an attacking role in recent weeks and seems to be back to his best. The midfielder was virtually unplayable in his final season at Ajax but was unable to replicate his extraordinary form in his first season at Barcelona.

It comes as no surprise that Frenkie de Jong's recent resurgence has coincided with a string of positive results for Barcelona in all competitions. The Catalan giants rely heavily on the Dutch midfielder to enforce a modicum of cohesion in the middle of the pitch and will hope that the former Ajax star builds on his progress under Ronald Koeman this season.

#1 Pedri

Pedri has enjoyed an exceptional season
Pedri has enjoyed an exceptional season

Pedri has been the find of the season for Ronald Koeman and Barcelona and is arguably one of the most talented youngsters in La Liga at the moment. The former Las Palmas midfielder has given seasoned veterans in Spain and in Europe a legitimate run for their money this season and has grown into one of Barcelona's most reliable midfielders.

The 18-year-old starlet has kept the misfiring Philippe Coutinho on the bench this season with his performances and has already established an excellent relationship with Barcelona talisman Lionel Messi. The young Spaniard also has an excellent work-rate and his rapid progression this season has eased the burden on Ronald Koeman.

Pedri is still in his first season at Barcelona and already seems to be the perfect fit for the Catalans' style of play. While comparisons with Barcelona's all-time greats are decidedly premature, the youngster could potentially go on to carve a legacy for himself with the Blaugrana.

Also Read: 5 Barcelona players who are out of favour under Ronald Koeman

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Edited by Aditya Hosangadi


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