17-year-old Barcelona gem could finally make his La Liga debut


Barcelona's Spanish forward #38 Marc Guiu (L) and Spanish defender Hector Fort arrive for a training session at the Joan Gamper training ground in Sant Joan Despi, near Barcelona, on October 24, 2023, on the eve of their UEFA Champions League 1st round Group H football match against Shakhtar Donetsk.
Photo by PAU BARRENA/AFP via Getty Images

There is no stopping for Xavi Hernandez and FC Barcelona as their next game approaches. The Blaugranes are still fighting in La Liga and despite the distance from the top, their intentions remain clear. For Barcelona, the next game against Villareal is another hurdle they have to overcome.

However, to overcome this particular hurdle, some sacrifices have to be made. One of those sacrifices will revolve around the loss of Alejandro Balde, who was injured quite significantly in the previous game against Athletic Club. Now, with his season potentially over, Xavi will turn to his other Barcelona fullbacks.

Unfortunately, no other natural left-back is there to be deployed. Marcos Alonso, the only other alternative to Balde, is also currently sidelined. So, for this game at least, SPORT reveals that Xavi already has a plan in mind.

The Barcelona coach will likely have Joao Cancelo act as the left-back, and Hector Fort will finally get to show off his qualities as a right-back. Naturally favoring that position, he has had to sacrifice his comfort and instead has had to play as a left-back for Barça in the previous games.

However, he has continued to impress regardless of wherever and whoever he has been deployed against. Fort, still aged just 17, continues to impress and SPORT states that he already has Xavi’s full trust. With both him and Cancelo available, the Barcelona coach has some sort of backup plan.

The Portuguese fullback seems likely to be used as a left-back because of his great experience as one. While he is primarily a right-back as well, his ability to play on the changed leg is almost too good not to be taken advantage of.

After being unable to play against Athletic Club, Villarreal could be the opponent Cancelo makes his return against. Since his injury against Las Palmas, the Manchester City loanee has been in recovery. Now, however, it seems that he has returned just in time for Xavi to have him as his solution.

Raafay Humayun
Raafay Humayun
Raafay Humayun is a life-long fan of FC Barcelona and an avid enjoyer of all things Blaugrana. Having fallen in love with the club for the way they defined football for him, he now spends his time watching games, analyzing the happenings in them, and digesting any and everything related to his beloved Catalan club. He also writes as an author for Barca News Network hoping to deliver the latest updates to his fellow ‘culés’.

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