The new Barcelona boss allowed the striker to leave the club this summer, although he admitted that it was not his own decision.
The departure of Luis Suarez was not Koemans decision
Ronald Koeman has played down Leo Messi’s reaction to the transfer of Luis Suarez to Atletico Madrid. The new Barcelona boss allowed the striker to leave the club this summer, although he admitted that it was not his own decision. “It seems like I’m the bad guy in this film because I showed respect for him as a person and a player behind my call to Luis Suarez,” Koeman said during Saturday’s pre-match press conference. “I told him that if he stays, it will be difficult for him to play, but if he stays, he will be part of the team. Before I signed, the club had already made some decisions, and I supported those decisions. It wasn’t just me. It’s okay for Messi to be sad when one of his friends leaves the club. “Messi has been an example for everyone in training and matches.
Barca want to sign the replacement for Luis Suarez
“Not once have I seen him not ready for the season. He showed a lot of commitment. I do not doubt that.” As for the replacement for Suarez, Koeman admitted that Barcelona are looking for opportunities to sign one before the transfer window closes. “We are always looking for players to improve the team,” said the Dutchman. “It may be that the players we want cannot come because of the financial situation of the club, but I accept that and know it beforehand. We have a lot of top quality players. If the team stays as it is, we will have to accept it.” Riqui Puig is another player that Koeman suggested leaving the Camp Nou in search of more playing time. “In the case of Riqui Puig, there is a lot of competition in his position,” added Koeman.
Ansu Fati is a player for the future of the club
“It is not true that he is not in my plans because he will be in the team tomorrow. It has nothing to do with his shirt number.” Unlike Riqui Puig, Ansu Fati plays a vital role in Barcelona’s first team in this campaign. “Ansu Fati is a great talent,” said Koeman. “Few players his age show that level. He is young and has to learn something, but he made his international debut it means something. He is a player for the future of the club, although it’s impressive that he is good enough to play for the first team at his age.” Philippe Coutinho is back at Barcelona after his loan spell at Bayern Munich, and Koeman is looking forward to having him at his disposal.
“Coutinho can play great as No.10 or on the left,” he said. “He is a player who likes to help the team in defense. He’s got a good shot on him. He plays well in space. I like him, and hopefully, he will be successful at Barcelona this season.”