Thursday, September 29, 2022

Barcelona Left-Back Is On The Radar Of Chelsea: Can Xavi Afford To Lose Him?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

In a recent report, Fichajes mentioned that Barcelona left-back Alejandro Balde is on the radar of Chelsea. It has been stated that the Blues are willing to launch a €15m bid to sign the Spanish defender from the Catalan giants in the future.

Balde’s Impressive Rise At Catalonia This Season

Balde is having a decent campaign at the Nou Camp as he has managed to establish himself as an important member of Xavi’s starting XI in La Liga. The 18-year-old has done really well to pick up three assists in five matches for the Catalan club this season across various competitions.

The talented teenager has caught the eye by averaging 0.8 tackles, 0.6 interceptions and 0.8 key passes per game in La Liga. He was even quite accurate when distributing possession from the left flank, as evidenced by his pass success rate of 89.6% in the Spanish top tier (stats via whoscored).

His current deal with Barca will run out in the summer of 2024, so Xavi is under no pressure to cash in on him in January. However, things could change next summer if the Catalan club is unable to tie the youngster down to a new contract by then, especially if a top club like Chelsea launch a move for his services.

Nou Camp
Nou Camp

Can Barcelona Boss Xavi Afford To Lose Balde?

Balde is a good tackler of the ball and can make some important interceptions at the back when he is playing at the top of his game. At such a tender age, he has already shown great maturity to create a few inviting chances for his teammates on the attacking end of the pitch. Balde is primarily a left-back but can also play as a left wing-back or as a left-winger if asked to do so which explains how he has become such an integral member of Xavi’s match-day squad this season.

The young full-back has got the potential to become a future star at the Nou Camp as long as he continues to improve with each season. Thus, Barca simply cannot afford to lose Balde as he is the perfect long-term successor to Jordi Alba at the Catalan club.

At 18, the Spanish whizkid has begun to show flashes of what he is capable of at the highest level. Hence, Barcelona should prioritize on securing his long-term future at the Nou Camp so that they are in a good position to fend off Chelsea’s interest in the youngster next summer.

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