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Barcelona to back La Masia star Alejandro Balde instead of pursuing Jose Luis Gaya

FC Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman looks on in the Copa del Rey Semi Final against Sevilla
FC Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman looks on in the Copa del Rey Semi Final against Sevilla
Varun Totadri
ANALYST
Modified 14 Feb 2021
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Barcelona are reportedly ready to promote La Masia product Alejandro Balde to the first team. The youngster is expected to compete with veteran defender Jordi Alba for a starting place as the club's left-back.

According to Barcablaugranes, the Spanish giants will snub the chance to sign highly-rated Valencia defender Jose Luis Gaya and will give Ajenadro Balde a chance to develop into the club's left-back for the future.

Barcelona currently have two left-backs in their squad, Jordi Alba and Junior Firpo. Firpo has been heavily linked with a move away from Barcelona and is almost certain to leave the club next summer.

Ronald Koeman has been forced to play right-back Sergino Dest as a left-back on a number of occasions this season. The lack of options has resulted in Barcelona being linked with a move for Valencia's Jose Luis Gaya.

Valencia reportedly value Gaya at €30 million, which could prove to be an obstacle for Barcelona given their recent financial troubles and lack of available funds.

The report suggests that Barcelona are still struggling financially, due to the negative effects of the coronavirus pandemic, and will look to their youth academy for a new left-back.

Alejandro Balde has impressed while playing for Barcelona B this season and the club's hierarchy believe he can make the step up into the first team.

Ronald Koeman has already introduced the promoted the likes of Pedri and Ronald Araujo from the academy to the senior squad this season. Both youngsters have been impressive for Barcelona when given the chance in the current campaign.

The Dutch manager will be hoping the trend continues with Alejandro Balde, and will look to senior players such as Gerard Pique and Jordi Alba to help the youngster develop rapidly for Barcelona.

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Barcelona hope to solve left-back issues by promoting Alejandro Balde to the first team

Barcelona B left-back Alejandro Balde could be promoted to the first team soon
Barcelona B left-back Alejandro Balde could be promoted to the first team soon

Barcelona endured a shaky start to their 2020-21 campaign, as their poor performances were complicated by off-field issues. However, the Catalans have been on a good run of form recently and have won all of their last five games in La Liga.

Ronald Koeman's side are currently in second place in the La Liga table, eight points behind leaders Atletico Madrid. Despite being impressive in recent months, the Catalan giants appear to be a couple of players short of mounting a serious challenge for trophies.

Barcelona will look to sign some players next summer, but will be largely limited financially. Therefore, the club will look to promote a number of youth products to provide cover in various positions.

Alejandro Balde could be the next star to emerge from La Masia, and is likely to get his chance in the Cup competitions.

Published 14 Feb 2021, 14:11 IST
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