Used to wake up a Jordi Alba who was resting on his laurels? Troubleshooting solution while Marcos Alonso adapts? During the summer and the very beginning of the season, many believed that Alejandro Baldé was not going to last long in the Barcelona eleven. A role of lining, even of third man at the post of left side, seemed to be promised to him. Which was already rather positive for the one who has been one of the most promising players in the Barcelona academy for years now.
But Xavi made everyone lie. Finally, it is above all the young 18-year-old Spaniard who defied all predictions and did what was necessary to make a real place for himself in the team. Not used during Barça’s first La Liga against Rayo Vallecano, he then chained the five days that followed as a starter. He was only rested against Bayern, where Xavi favored the experience of Marcos Alonso. A rather smart and thoughtful choice given the context, since a bad match could have cut Baldé’s good momentum, especially on the moral level.
Xavi is delighted
Since the start of the season, the La Masia product has been wowing his world. “It’s always surprising that an 18-year-old kid plays at this level. He has a lot of confidence and personality. He will bring us a lot”, confided Xavi last weekend. It must be said that what stands out the most about the left side is his tranquility. It often feels like he’s been in the starting job for 10 years, and he plays with some pretty crazy confidence. Without hiding, and without trying to do too much. He also seems to sometimes play with the intelligence and reading of a midfielder, always projecting himself shrewdly forward.
Particularly good in the last meters, he is also very calm when it comes to defending and securing his side. He has already delivered 3 assists in La Liga, which makes him the best assist provider in the league, tied with three other players (Guillamón, J. Félix, Kang-In Lee) who have played one more game. His understanding with most players in the Barcelona attack is already excellent, and at this level of performance, it seems difficult to imagine Xavi taking him out of his starting XI…