Injured Barcelona defender to stay, set for starting role next season

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Barcelona's Spanish defender #03 Alejandro Balde arrives for a training session in Barcelona on November 27, 2023, on the eve of the UEFA Champions League 1st round group H football match against FC Porto.
Photo by JOSE JORDAN/AFP via Getty Images

After impressing the world with his talents last season, the current season has been less memorable for Barcelona fullback Alejandro Balde.

The youngster faced one of the most painful experiences any footballer dreads: a season-ending injury from which he is yet to recover. Even before this setback, Balde struggled to perform at his best as a left-back, prompting Xavi to favor Joao Cancelo in his position, even when Balde was available.

Now, the 20-year-old La Masia prodigy is nearing a return from his injury, with his recovery progressing ahead of schedule—a testament to the immense effort he has put in over the past few months.

The Spaniard aims to regain his best form by the time FC Barcelona starts their pre-season. To achieve this, he plans to forgo rest during the summer months, continuing his intense training regimen while the rest of the team enjoys their vacations.

Furthermore, as per a report from SPORT, Balde is a clear part of Xavi’s plans for next season and is expected to return as a key player for FC Barcelona. While some aspects of his game can still be improved, he has shown significant growth in his defensive abilities.

Balde will be crucial for the Barcelona head coach, especially as Xavi aims to have each position in his squad doubled. To achieve this, Xavi will rely on players from the reserve team, with Hector Fort and Marc Guiu also set to take on more prominent roles in the first team.

Thus, Xavi will not be open to seeing Balde being sold in the upcoming summer transfer window, as he is the starting left-back for FC Barcelona. However, changes are expected in the fullback department, with the futures of Joao Cancelo, Julian Araujo, and Alex Valle still uncertain.

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