Alba, Dest and Balde: Barcelona's new plans at left-back for 21-22
The club will not replace Junior Firpo as they had initially planned to do
Barcelona are beginning to see clearly the left-back situation for next season. It's too soon to talk about irreversible decisions, but right now everything indicates that Jordi Alba won't have a natural backup in the first team.
The Catalan defender has said he's only thinking about staying. Things can change, but with Alba it's difficult to imagine anything else. He will not only stay, but will be the first choice. He remains key in the attack.
With the departure of Junior Firpo, Barça's initial plan was to bring in a low-cost left-back. Various names were mentioned but the financial situation means it's difficult to make signings. Barça now no longer hide that it's more than likely Junior will not be replaced externally.
Therefore, Koeman will have two options to cover Alba in the event of injury, suspension or rest. The first is Sergiño Dest, a right-back but someone who can and has played at left-back. Emerson could also be tried there, as could Sergi Roberto.
The other option is youngster Alejandro Balde. In fact, even though he won't be registered to the first team, he will be training with them and playing for the B team. The priority is for him to play. He will only go with the first team if that's possible -- if Alba's injured, for example.
The difficult reality Barça are facing mean Balde could be more involved than planned, then, and that a first-team promotion could also arrive in the event of a serious full-back crisis.
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