Alejandro Balde has had a meteoric rise at Barcelona this season. The 18-year-old is currently Xavi’s 1st choice left back over the likes of Jordi Alba and Marcos Alonso. He is having an impressive season so far and has started most matches as the left-back. It is pretty astonishing to see an 18-year-old Academy player shutting out the veterans. Kudos to Xavi too as the Spaniard has believed in Balde and stopped him from moving on loan to any other club. Barcelona must be feeling ecstatic as their full-back problems now seem to be sorted.
This breakthrough has also benefited the U-21 Spanish national team. He had a call-up to international duty recently and made an everlasting impression. Balde had a brilliant game against Norway this Tuesday. Luis De La Fuente also praised the Barcelona man and how he has unlimited talent and potential. Jordi Alba is now the third choice for Xavi. The 33-year-old has faced a lot of criticism for his defending which has pushed him behind. Balde and new signing Marcos Alonso are getting the minutes between themselves. This has left Alba in frustration who had offers from a lot of clubs in the summer.
So far, Balde has got 3 assists in La Liga and there is a lot riding on him this season. The teenage prodigy has a long and assured future at the club if he keeps on going in the same direction. It is also notable that he is currently starting over Alba and Alonso, 2 experienced veterans. It says a lot about Xavi and how he believes in Balde’s talent. Barcelona have really struggled on their left side defensively in recent seasons. As good as Jordi Alba is going forward, he is very suspect in defense which has eventually led to Balde’s discovery. Fans are willing to see the teenager start and feature for the team again.
Barcelona target to sign a contract extension?
Barcelona have been behind Jose Gaya for a long time. The Catalans have not hidden their admiration for Gaya who is also a regular on the Spanish national team. He is valued a lot by Gattuso and Luis Enrique and has no replacements at this moment. Jordi Alba’s time at the club seems to be over and Jose Gaya is the number-one contender for a couple of years to replace him. But Barcelona did not offer for him as they were looking to get him for free next summer.
But now, Valencia and Gaya’s entourage are very close to agreeing to a new 5-year deal, making him the highest-paid player in the club. Reports say that it will be made official any time in the coming days. Gattuso also confirmed that the negotiations are going well.
“Gaya’s renewal? I think that Gaya will accept our proposal and sign a new deal.”
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