Miralem Pjanic continues his war of words with Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman by claiming he ‘didn’t understand his decisions’… and on-loan Besiktas star insists his parent club ‘need a leader to lift the team’
- Miralem Pjanic struggled to break into the Barcelona starting XI last season
- The midfielder had arrived as a high profile summer signing from Juventus
- But a year on he has been shipped out on loan to Besiktas after failing to impress
- Pjanic claimed last month that he had been disrespected by Ronald Koeman
Miralem Pjanic has hit out at Ronald Koeman again, claiming he was left baffled by his lack of playing time at Barcelona last season.
The midfielder was a high profile summer arrival at the Nou Camp in 2020 from Juventus but struggled to nail down a first team spot under the Barca boss in a frustrating first season at the club.
On loan at Besiktas this term, Pjanic has been watching from afar at his parent club who have struggled in the early part of the campaign, sitting just ninth in the LaLiga table and having lost their opening two games in the Champions League.
Miralem Pjanic struggled to break into the Barcelona team last season and is now out on loan
While reflecting on the Spanish side’s recent results and their lack of leadership, the 31-year-old also suggested that Koeman didn’t have a plan to fit him into Barcelona’s system.
‘Last year in Barcelona, the coach made decisions that I didn’t understand, I wasn’t very lucky’ as quoted by AS.
‘I could have played for Barcelona. I needed more minutes, but it was the coach’s decision. He had to figure it out and find a place where I could play.
The midfielder was often called upon as a substitute by manager Ronald Koeman in LaLiga
‘They go through difficult times and the results are not what the fans want. That creates pressure. The board of directors and the president know what to do.
‘Financially, things are not good, but it is a great club. It has very good players and, perhaps, they need a leader to lift the team.
‘Mistakes have been made, but people will make the right decisions. Barcelona will come back as one of the greatest.’
Pjanic’s latest barb at Koeman comes after the Dutch coach claimed he had better players to fit his system, having responded to the midfielder’s initial complaints that he was disrespected during his season at the Nou Camp.
Koeman is under pressure at the Nou Camp following their poor start to the season
‘I think it’s a bit of frustration on the part of the player that I understand,’ Koeman told Mundo Deportivo.
‘But in our way of playing, in our ideas with the ball and without the ball, he has lost the battle with other midfielders, and nothing else.’
Having started just six LaLiga games last term, Pjanic appears to be enjoying his time at Besiktas having already featured five times and contributed three assists.
The Bosnian though admitted he only found out about his potential loan move through reporters near the end of the summer transfer window before confiding in international team-mate and Turkey based goalkeeper Ibrahim Sehic.
Pjanic (left) meanwhile is finding his form again on loan from Barca at Turkish side Besiktas
‘I am a footballer who always wants to be on the pitch and, when Besiktas became interested, I did not hesitate. I always wanted to visit Turkey. It is a country that always made me curious,’ he added.
‘I was in the national team, we played against France and I had the phone turned off. The journalists started asking questions. I said I had a contract with Barcelona for three more years.
‘Then I picked up the phone and saw so many messages. Sometimes things happen very fast. Besiktas took great care of me, the interest they showed was key.
‘I spoke with Sehic first. He gave me the details I needed to know. He told me that Besiktas was very great here and that I would be very happy. When I arrived, I discovered that I had made the right decision.’