With each passing week it’s becoming increasingly clear that Barcelona didn’t sign Dani Alves as part of some sort of publicity stunt, note Marca. They’re bringing the Brazilian back to Camp Nou to form an important part of Xavi’s squad.
Barcelona haven’t been able to replace Alves since he left the club in the summer of 2016 for Juventus. They’ve tried, of course, and spent considerable sums of money. But nobody has claimed the spot for their own in the way Jordi Alba has at left-back.
Alves has made it clear that he hasn’t come back to Barcelona simply to pass the time, and is determined to contribute to the first team in a meaningful way. And there’s certainly space for him to do so. For a variety of reasons, none of Sergino Dest, Oscar Mingueza or Sergi Roberto are an insurmountable obstacle.
Alves, now 38 years of age, of course, is scheduled to make his second competitive debut for the Blaugrana on January second, when Barcelona take on Mallorca in the Balearic Islands. However, he may appear before that in a friendly against Boca Juniors in Saudi Arabia on December 14th, a game organised in honour of the late Diego Maradona.