Jordi Alba is set to receive a new contract as Barcelona aim to secure his long-term future.
The last couple of seasons have highlighted how pivotal Jordi Alba is to the team due to how he is able to balance his defensive and attacking responsibilities effectively. His performances this season make a strong case for him currently being the best left-back in the world as no other player can provide his attacking threat from that position. Replacing him will be a tough task for the board.
According to Sport, Barcelona are close to agreeing a five-year deal with Alba’s representatives and Josep Bartomeu has reportedly played an important role in this. This has been a priority for the club as they don’t have a replacement ready to take over. Juan Miranda and Marc Cucurella are La Masia graduates who could be long-term options in that position, but both are too inexperienced to be regular starters currently. If Alba were to leave in the next few seasons then it’s likely an external replacement would be brought in.
Cucurella has impressed on loan at Eibar, although he has largely played as a winger due to doubts over his defensive ability. He has scored once and assisted two in all competitions so he can certainly contribute offensively. Miranda has featured four times for the senior side in all competitions, but he struggled against Spurs and Levante which were the toughest matches that he was involved in. However, he is only 19-years-old so he has plenty of time to improve.
Alba’s offensive contributions are remarkable for a defender because he has scored twice and assisted 14 this season. His chemistry with Lionel Messi is a key part of Barcelona’s attacking play due to the number of times the Argentine plays passes in behind for him to run on to which he will often cut back for an effective one-two. The departure of Neymar has given him more offensive freedom and he has thrived in that during Ernesto Valverde’s tenure.
His current contract was set to run out in 2020 so attempting to secure his future ahead of the summer transfer window is a smart move by the board. Alba suits the club’s style and has a good understanding with key players such as Messi as well as forming a promising understanding with Ousmane Dembele, so he would be wise to extend his stay at the club.