Sunday, January 29, 2023

Tottenham Hotspur Eyeing This Spanish Sensation: The Next Superstar Under Pochettino?

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Subhayan Dutta
Subhayan used to be the Featured Columnist at The 4th Official. Completely immersed in football and almost all other sports on planet.

North London side Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur have always been common destinations for youth products of Spain’s famous La Masia Academy. Over the years, numerous names like Cesc Fabregas, Hector Bellerin, Giovanni dos Santos and many more crossed the path and the latest name to be doing that could be Carles Alena.

According to reports, Spurs are weighing up a bid for the Barcelona B team’s star player, Carles Alena. The central midfielder is touted by coaches to be the next big thing in the Spanish side with numerous top sides vying for him. At just 19, the Mataro-born youngster has shown immense maturity in his ability to hold the ball and distribute it impeccably.

With Mauricio Pochettino willing to pay something in the region of £2.6 million for the starlet, it is understood Alena doesn’t stand in his immediate plans. The Lilywhite have some brilliant ball distributors in Eric Dier, Christian Eriksen and Mousa Dembele in the squad, and Alena toppling them all to get into the first team, so early in his career, would only be a wishful thinking.

However, that doesn’t deny the brilliance his feet possess. And the Catalans haven’t yet managed to extend his contract at Nou Camp. He is in his last year of the contract with Barcelona and the side could lose him for a frivolous amount if they don’t act fast. Apart from Spurs, newly-promoted side Newcastle United have also shown interest in the player.

Since making his debut for Spain’s Under 21 side back in the January of 2016, Alena has scored two goals for them in eight games and is their skipper now. A central midfielder by nature, Alena has been compared by many to former Barcelona skipper and legend Xavi Hernandez, given his playing style and vision. He would definitely be an upgrade for any side across Europe.

His ability to orchestrate the game from the centre is phenomenal and former Barca manager Luis Enrique was even forced to ask his services four times last season, in La Liga and in Copa del Rey. While playing him in La Liga could have been a big risk for Enrique, where he played only 40 minutes in three games, Alena got his chance in Copa del Rey.

He was handed a chance against Hercules where he played 76 minutes and he got his first goal in the top level there. Barca’s reluctance to secure his services is not quite understood but with new coach Ernesto Valverde looking at major changes in the squad, Alena’s first team chances look slim.

Pochettino holds a good reputation in Spain and just might be able to lure Alena if Barca lets him go. And given the great nurturer of young talents that the Argentine is, Alena is bound to flourish under him.

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