Atlético Madrid

Barcelona Has One Player Deemed 'Untouchable' Over Messi Since Koeman's Reign, Report Says

Barcelona youngster Frenkie de Jong has been more active than Lionel Messi and is reportedly the only “untouchable” player in Ronald Koeman’s squad this season.

The departure of Luis Suarez has already set the tone for Koeman’s new plans for Barcelona, and shockingly, stats prove that the Dutchman has trusted one player more than Messi.

The Dutch midfielder is “at the top” of Koeman’s preferences and has been deemed the only “untouchable” player in Barcelona at present, Spanish outlet Marca reported.

With 855 recorded minutes on the pitch, Messi is the second player with the most playing time and has only not started a game in the clash against Real Betis, the report added.

Along with Sergio Busquets, Ansu Fati and Pedri, Messi is still one of the key pieces in Koeman's squad, having participated in all 10 games this season but as a substitute on some occasions.

"Messi still has a contract and in my opinion he has to stay here," Koeman said in a press conference ahead of Saturday's La Liga game against Atletico Madrid.

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