Koeman asks Barcelona to incorporate a new forward

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The Blaugrana tried 20 shots on goal in their 1-0 win over Huesca, and their coach called for reinforcements in attack

Ronald Koeman said Barcelona was missing a striker, as they scored just once of 20 shots on goal in a 1-0 win over Huesca, and asked the club to sign a new striker.

Lionel Messi returned to Barça after recovering from an ankle injury and Koeman opted to play it in attack alongside Martin Braithwaite and Ousmane Dembele.

The trio tried 15 shots between them, but it was Frenkie de Jong who scored the decisive goal, overturning Messi’s pass to the net in the 27th minute.

Koeman, who sent Antoine Griezmann for Braithwaite with nine minutes remaining, admitted he lacks a natural striker to lead the line between the creative talents of Messi and Dembélé.

“I trust every player on our team,” Koeman told reporters. “But if we choose to have three midfielders, there is room for three forwards.

“With Leo we bet on someone with great depth like Dembélé, and we have to choose between Martín or Antoine at the top and Martín has done it.

“It’s a nine that we lack in these games, but it doesn’t mean anything in terms of replacing Antoine. We have a lot of games and we need all the players.

“We have said several times, at the beginning of the season, that we need someone at the top to have more competition and more goals, more effectiveness, but that depends on many things.”

Koeman said he believes that improving his attacking options will help reduce the pressure on the Barcelona defense, which absorbed waves of attacks from Huesca as the hosts sought a draw at the end of El Alcoraz.

Barcelona hit with just seven of their 20 shots on goal and Koeman said they must close games earlier to avoid nervousness at the end.

“The second half was not that brilliant,” Koeman admitted.

“In the end we suffer a bit because they have tried to create and there have been centers where we have defended well. If you don’t close the game before, you always suffer.”

Facing the La Liga clashes with Athletic Bilbao and Granada, and a semifinal of the Spanish Super Cup against Real Sociedad, Koeman added: “This month is very important for our aspirations because we have many away games and if we win them I think it can fight.

“We have come out strong, very focused, and that is the main base we need. If we have these two things we will improve with the ball and if we can also improve in front of goal we can have a very important and good year. “


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