Ahead of Barcelona‘s trip to San Mames tomorrow to take on Athletic Club, Ronald Koeman has been speaking to the press. The Basque club has recently appointed Marcelino as a coach.
Koeman was asked about Antoine Griezmann, who was signed for big money from Atletico Madrid in the summer of 2019 but has yet to consolidate his place in the Barcelona starting XI. In recent times, he’s been left to stew on the substitutes’ bench.
“I like Griezmann, but I have to choose between the players I have while playing with three midfielders and Ousmane [Dembele] is improving physically,” Koeman said in quotes carried by Marca.
Sergino Dest began the season well but has begun to turn out somewhat irregular performances at right-back. For Koeman, given his tender years and lack of experience, such inconsistency is to be expected.
“Dest has ups and downs during a match,” he said. “He’s started strong, but he’s just 19 years old and needs time to adapt. Like any footballer, he has the right to make mistakes and improve. I’m not disappointed because he’s young and that’s normal.”
The Dutch coach was also questioned about the January transfer market, within which Barcelona has been linked with a host of names including Eric Garcia and Memphis Depay.
“Every coach always looks to the month of January and how the squad can be improved, just like I do,” Koeman said. “I have made a list of possible injuries and players that would be interesting to bring in. It depends on the club. If it’s not possible, I can depend on the players I have already.”
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