Southampton midfielder Oriol Romeu has urged Barcelona to stick with Ronald Koeman this summer after his first year in charge.
Koeman took charge at the Nou Camp last summer, securing his dream job in the process but has endured something of a difficult first year in charge.
While his side have averaged 2.19 points per game this season and won the Copa del Rey, they currently sit third in La Liga, two points behind Atlético Madrid.
They were also unceremoniously dumped out of the Champions League by PSG in a two leg tie that included a 4-1 defeat at the Nou Camp, leading to numerous questions about Koeman’s future at the club.
Those largely stem from the fact he was hired by the previous regime, with several reports in Spain having indicated that Joan Laporta, the new Barcelona president, wants Xavi to take charge of the side.
Romeu believes that would be premature, though, backing his former Southampton boss to lead Barça forwards.
“He deserves to continue at Barça and to be given another year,” he told Què t’hi jugues’ on SER Catalunya, relayed by Mundo Deportivo.
“A lot of the credit for Barça’s cup title goes to Koeman and more than a tactical question; it’s because of the unity that can be perceived in the dressing room.
“At Barça, he is playing a key role because he is backing young players, but Koeman at Southampton was criticised because he didn’t give opportunities to young players, and he said he only gave games to players who were ready.
“As at Barça, he has them; that’s why they play: Pedro, Ilaix, Ansu… I think Xavi will end up coaching Barça, but I don’t know if it’s the right time.
“I’d like him to be able to spend three or four years without rushing to build the team he wants, although if we have to talk about next season, I’d give Koeman another year.”