The two players on alert should Jose Gaya drop out of Spain World Cup squad

“It is the unpleasant news of these four days,” remarked Luis Enrique after Spain beat Jordan 3-1 on Thursday afternoon, referring to the fact that one of his player’s World Cup dream may be over before it started.

On Wednesday it emerged that Valencia left-back Jose Gaya had sprained his ankle in training, although initially this was not thought to endanger his World Cup.

However after the Jordan match Luis Enrique confirmed Spain would take a decision on Gaya’s participation on Friday, although he would not give any more detail on the injury.

According to Sport, there are two options for Luis Enrique should Gaya be forced to drop out, both plying their trade at Barcelona. Breakout star Alejandro Balde and veteran Marcos Alonso could join teammate Jordi Alba if a replacement is required, with options like Javi Galan or Alex Moreno missing out.

Balde has been Barcelona’s most consistent left-back this season and has been impressive in spells on the flank for Xavi Hernandez. However with just several months of first-team experience, it would normally be a risk to take him, although Luis Enrique has shown himself willing to take young players if he believes they are good enough.

Meanwhile Alonso has enjoyed a less remarkable season. Much of it has been spent in central defence in order to cover for injuries at Barcelona, while his few left-back appearances were somewhat disappointing. Equally, Alonso has been used by Luis Enrique before and is a known quantity.

Tags Alejandro Balde Barcelona Marcos Alonso Spain La Roja
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