Even with the changing personnel, the right wing seems to be the stable point of the Blaugrana’s frontline. However, the left side is far less certain. Dembélé’s injury massively reduced the viable possibilities as neither of Ansu Fati or Ferrán Torres is in an appropriate form to be the starter on the left side of the attack.
To cure this problem, Alejandro Balde’s inclusion on the left flank seemingly dismissed the problems, however, a fever can stop the Spanish starlet from featuring in the Barcelona lineup against Sevilla. In the WM formation, as Koundé tends to tuck in as the third center-back, Baldé has the freedom to push high and essentially become the winger on the left side of the 3-man frontline.
Gavi, deployed as a false winger, drifts into the halfspace, completing the 4-man midfield box, and opening the wide channel for Baldé to operate. With his blistering pace and agile dribbling, he is a crucial asset in the Blaugrana’s attacking setup, while he can also easily track back and support defensive transitions greatly.
His eventual absence would be a big loss for Barcelona, knowing that he is quite a unique character on that left side. While Ansu and Ferrán provide more attacking options, Jordi Alba and even Marcos Alonso shouldn’t be taken out of the equation.
Indeed, Balde’s role on the left is quite complex and nobody can satisfyingly replace him, but Alba’s skillset and experience may be the closest to what Xavi demands from his left wingback. Alternatively, it can be a valuable opportunity to either Ansu Fati or Ferrán Torres to turn their form positive.