Jordi Alba is a Barcelona legend in every sense of the word. He has donned the Blaugrana colours since 2012 and has been one of the club's finest servants during this period.
He has well and truly made that left-back spot his own for a very long time and deservedly so. Jordi Alba has been one of the few elite left-backs in the 2010s, with his offensive qualities almost unmatched by any other of his breed.
However, it is perhaps time to gradually phase Jordi Alba out of the Barcelona starting line-up as the Spaniard is approaching the age of 32. He still remains a solid player, but the lack of a potential replacement in the near future has been a concern for Barcelona. Junior Firpo's signing from Real Betis was seen as a fine acquisition, but he hasn't quite hit the ground running.
So, it is only natural for Barcelona to go shopping for another player in that replacement who could potentially take over from Jordi Alba in the seasons to come. Here are five options in this regard that Barcelona may consider.
Five potential replacements for Jordi Alba at Barcelona:
#5: David Alaba (Bayern Munich)
A player who has been heavily linked with both Barcelona and Real Madrid in recent days, David Alaba would be a no-nonsense signing for Barcelona.
The Austrian is one of the best left-backs on the planet and can play at center-back or in midfield just as comfortably, rendering him one of the most versatile footballers in the world right now.
In regular circumstances, Bayern Munich would be completely against the idea of selling their star player. However, it is now an open secret that Alaba wants to play in Spain. Moreover, his wage demands are deemed as over-the-top by the Bayern Munich heirarchy. As a result, Alaba could be acquired if Barcelona play their cards right, although it would cost them a pretty penny regardless.
Alaba is a veteran already at 28 - three years younger than Alba - and his experience of winning at the highest level will undoubtedly be of great use to Barcelona.
He could even play with Alba, given his versatility. If Barcelona are in no mood to take a chance on a younger player and watch it go wrong - as was the case with Junior Firpo - David Alaba would be the man to target.
#4: Raphael Guerreiro (Borussia Dortmund)
If Barcelona want a like-for-like replacement for Jordi Alba, it doesn't get much better than Borussia Dortmund's Raphael Guerreiro.
The Portuguese is an offensive machine, much like Alba. Guerreiro can do just about anything and everything when he arrives in the final third. He can cross the ball expertly, can play beautifully intricate passes and go for goal himself just as well.
Guerrerio's statistics for Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga this season paint a pretty picture. He has scored eight goals and provided three assists in just 29 matches - an excellent return for a full-back.
His tally of 11 goal contributions is the joint-highest he has logged in a single league campaign in his career so far, meaning that he's at the peak of his powers. Arguably, he has even been one of Borussia Dortmund's best players this season.
Guerrerio is still only 26 and would be a great signing for Barcelona if they intend to play the way they do with Alba, with the full-backs flying in behind defences to act like extra wingers.