The plan heading into the summer transfer window for Barcelona was to add some competition at left-back for Jordi Alba or an outright replacement.
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However, plans are subject to change. The Catalans went from being linked to Valencia’s José Luis Gayà to being open to negotiations with Inter Milan to Alba to now resigning themselves to the fact things will remain in the status quo.
The financial situation at Barcelona has forced them to adjust
According to Sport, the club now feel that there is no viable way to acquire a replacement for Alba nor is there money available to find a player who can even offer serious competition. In other words, their plan has been completely thrown out the window.
The only part of their plan for the left-back position that has come to fruition is the sale of Junior Firpo. The now-former Barcelona player joined Leeds United on a €15 million deal.
Instead, what Barcelona now intend to do is look at the options they have in-house and hope they work out during the season. What it means is players who are not natural right-backs will be played out of position due to necessity.
On the bright side, it could mean more consistent playing time for someone like Sergiño Dest. While he was signed as a right-back, he made his debut at left-back and it’s a position he sometimes plays with the United States.
Emerson Royal could also be given a chance there as well as Sergi Roberto. The latter’s future had been in doubt but could be given a second life due to the club’s inability to find another left-back.
Barcelona’s “break glass in case of emergency” option is Barça B’s Alejandro Balde who is seen as Alba’s eventual successor. He’s set to spend his time between Barça B and the first team next season depending on the team’s need and his development.
Despite things not going according to plan, it is not the worst thing in the world still relying on Alba. He had a good tournament with Spain in Euro 2020 where he was captain in the absence of Sergio Busquets.
The problem, however, is time and time again when he’s given a rest or simply not available, Barcelona struggle without him. The situation at left-back is starting to resemble the situation they had at striker during the last couple of seasons with Luis Suárez.
The last thing they want, or need, is have another situation where they wait too long to find a replacement and then do an inadequate job in doing so.