Alejandro Balde – The key to Barca’s Fullback woes?

Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Since the day Xavi has been at the helm of the Catalan outfit, he has made a lot of bold decisions that were often deemed unlikely to be taken. One of the key things for him to ponder upon was definitely – Who would be the ‘Jordi Alba’ replacement for the team? Keeping in mind, the fact that the club had financial limitations of its own.

And it’s historically prevalent- the fact that La Masia always steps up when Barca needs a player. And it just puts another stamp on its reliability in terms of producing wonderkids by providing a certain someone known as – Alejandro Balde.

The Young Spaniard has put on an astounding display every time he has been called upon to play. Even in the 2021-22 season which was not very pleasant in terms of the result, Balde still stood out in whatever minutes he could get.

Fast forward to the next season and he became the starter for the team over the likes of Jordi Alba and Marcos Alonso. He really excels at attacking output, and up to now, he has racked 3 assists this season in the league, which is the joint-highest of assists in La Liga.

At such a young age, He has been good at link-up play, work rate, and physicality. Also, he is lightning quick, as he has shown on numerous occasions, which is just a sign of him being ready to take the next big step in his career.

To give our readers a rough idea of his abilities, we have compared some of his current season’s league stats to the world-class fullbacks – namely Joao Cancelo, Alphonso Davies, and Andrew Robertson.

Balde comes out on top in very important metrics- 0.47 assists per 90, 0.27 nPxG+xA per 90, 89.6 % pass completion, 0.7 Goal creating actions per 90 and 76.9% aerial duels won, as compared to the more experienced and proven Fullbacks of this game.

Balde’s goal-creating actions per 90 compared to the other fullbacks
Percentage of Aerial duels won by Balde compared to other fullbacks
Pass completion rate of Balde as compared to other top fullbacks
Balde’s Progressive passing as compared to other top fullbacks
Assists per 90 minutes
Non-penalty expected goals + expected Assists per 90
Comparison of Advanced Metrics

Definitely, being this young, he won’t Excel at every stat, mind it, but definitely, it is a testament to what we have at our hands – He is a serious talent. Having such an able footballing brain at such a young age is a really big asset that Barca can look forward to capitalizing on while building their new squad.

Though nothing is certain if he continues on the path of development he has been on ever since he has been given the chance to don the Blaugrana jersey, there’s very little doubt about how capable this player is, and he will most likely sort out Barcelona’s left back concerns for years to come.

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