Riqui Puig has joined Los Angeles Galaxy on a free transfer from Barcelona The 23-year-old is expected to make his debut on Friday against SeattleCoach Greg Vanney is thrilled at the signing and what it means for MLS 

Riqui Puig has insisted his move from Barcelona to Los Angeles Galaxy is not a sideward or backward step for his career, despite leaving one of Europe’s heavyweight teams.

Puig joined the Galaxy on a contract until 2025 in a free transfer from Barca, who have a buy-back option and a 50 per cent sell-on fee in the deal. The 23-year-old made a total of 57 appearances for the LaLiga side but heads to Major League Soccer in pursuit of regular first-team action.

The majority of players head from Europe to the United States in the latter half of their career but Puig said that will change in the future.

'This is a league for young players': Riqui Puig relishing life at LA Galaxy after joining from Barcelona and is ready for his debut Friday - as coach Greg Vanney hails 'on of the most significant signings' in MLS history

Riqui Puig is relishing life in the United States after joining Los Angeles Galaxy

'This is a league for young players': Riqui Puig relishing life at LA Galaxy after joining from Barcelona and is ready for his debut Friday - as coach Greg Vanney hails 'on of the most significant signings' in MLS history

The 23-year-old expects many more young players with join Major League Soccer from Europe

‘This is a league for young players. Trust me, in the coming years you’ll see more young players coming to this league.

‘I like to take risks. This is a good opportunity. My teammates have made me feel at home.’

Puig, who will be used as an attacking midfielder, is set to make his Galaxy debut on Friday against Seattle Sounders.

‘I couldn’t imagine this club was reaching out to me,’ Puig said. ‘I got great support from the fans when I arrived at the airport.

‘The facilities are fantastic here. I couldn’t believe I was being called by the Galaxy.’

Galaxy coach Greg Vanney was ecstatic and bringing in a player of Puig’s calibre.

'This is a league for young players': Riqui Puig relishing life at LA Galaxy after joining from Barcelona and is ready for his debut Friday - as coach Greg Vanney hails 'on of the most significant signings' in MLS history

Galaxy coach Greg Vanney said Puig’s signing is one of the biggest in MLS history

‘I want him to be himself, to do the things he’s done as he continues to grow,’ Vanney said. ‘We feel we can provide him the opportunity to grow, the guy who has solutions for us in the final actions. To see the final pass, make movements through the backline.

‘I’ve been around the league a long time, since the beginning. We’ve just made arguably one of the most significant signings in the history of the league.

‘To have a young player of his quality to come from the club he was at where he already had success – to choose the Galaxy, to choose MLS to continue to grow his career – is immensely humbling and a huge recognition for the league.’

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