Sunday, February 5, 2023

Barcelona Youngster Is On The Radar Of Manchester United: Should Xavi Cut Him Loose?

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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 print edition, Mundo Deportivo mentioned that Barcelona youngster Alejandro Balde is on the radar of Manchester United. It has been revealed that the Red Devils are showing interest in recruiting the Barca starlet who could be tempted with ‘succulent offers’ from the Manchester club.

Balde’s Impressive Rise In Spanish Football This Season

Balde has come through the youth ranks of the Catalan club and has firmly established himself as a key member of Xavi’s match-day squad. The 19-year-old has made 20 appearances for both his club and club this season, picking up three assists in the process across multiple competitions.

The talented teenager has proven himself to be a decent performer down the left flank as he is averaging 1.4 tackles, 0.5 interceptions, 0.5 shots, 0.7 key passes and 0.9 dribbles per 90 minutes in La Liga. He has even been accurate when distributing the ball from the back after making 91.7% of his attempted passes in the Spanish first division (stats via whoscored).

His current contract at the Nou Camp is set to run out in the summer of 2024. Hence, the Barcelona-born talent could potentially leave the club on a cut-price fee next summer when he will have just one year remaining in his deal.

Nou Camp
Nou Camp

Should Barcelona Head Coach Xavi Cut Balde Loose Next Summer?

At the moment, Balde is playing at a high level as he has managed to catch the eye at times for both Barcelona and the Spanish national team this season.

The Spanish sensation is a good tackler of the ball and can make some timely interceptions for his team on the defensive end of the field. He can create some inviting chances for his teammates in the final third and can make some promising runs with the ball down the left flank.

At 19, the future is quite promising for Balde as long as he continues to focus on getting better on the field. Hence, Barcelona would be wise to tie him down to a new contract so that they can keep hold of him in the long run.

With all things considered, Barca boss Xavi should not think about cutting Balde loose as he is good enough to become a future star at the Nou Camp. However, if the youngster declines to pen a new deal, the Catalan club would have no choice but to let him go on the cheap or else risk losing him as a free agent in 2024.

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