Saturday, September 30, 2023

Barcelona Full-Back Offers Update On His Future: Should Xavi Retain His Services?

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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 interview with Mundo Deportivo, Barcelona full-back Alejandro Balde offered an update on his future. Balde said,

“There have been conversations, they are very close but I leave it in the hands of my agent and the club. I hope it will be resolved soon.”

“I am focused on what happens here, on coming back well from my injury, focused on the tour,”

Balde’s Decent Form At The Nou Camp Last Season

Balde had an impressive season at Barcelona recently as he produced a string of solid displays on the left side of Xavi’s defence. The 19-year-old participated in 44 matches for the Catalan club in the previous campaign, scoring one goal and securing seven assists across all fronts.

The Spanish talent proved himself to be a capable presence at left-back based on his average of 1.3 tackles, 0.7 key passes and 1.5 dribbles per 90 minutes in La Liga. He was even accurate when distributing possession from the left flank as evidenced by his pass success rate of 91.1% in top-flight football (stats via whoscored).

His current deal at the Nou Camp will run out next summer. Hence, it makes sense for the Catalan club to tie him down to a new, long-term contract.

Alejandro Balde
BARCELONA, SPAIN – MAY 28: Alejandro Balde of FC Barcelona drinks water prior to the LaLiga Santander match between FC Barcelona and RCD Mallorca at Spotify Camp Nou on May 28, 2023 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

Should Barcelona Boss Xavi Retain Balde’s Services?

Balde is a good tackler of the ball and usually works hard to make life difficult for the opposition when defending inside his half. He can engineer some decent chances for his teammates in the opponent’s half and is a decent dribbler with the ball as well. The Spanish prospect is primarily a left-back but can also function as a left-sided wide player or as a right-back if asked to do so.

Balde is good enough to be a regular starter for Barcelona over the next decade. He could prove to be a perfect successor to Jordi Alba at the Nou Camp. At 19, the future looks quite bright for the Spaniard as long as he continues to improve with each season.

Therefore, it makes a lot of sense for Barca boss Xavi to retain Balde’s services for the long run as he could help the Catalan giants challenge for a lot of major honours in the future.

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