Barcelona are going from strength to strength in La Liga, powered by a core of young stars, that are book-ended by Robert Lewandowski and Marc-Andre ter Stegen at either end of the pitch. With Real Madrid away at the Club World Cup, their game will not take place until Wednesday against Elche, meaning that Barcelona can extend the gap at the top of the table to 11 points.
One of the casualties of that young core, in this case Alejandro Balde, has been Jordi Alba. The 33-year-old has started 14 games this season, less than half, having been a guaranteed starter for years on the left.
In addition to the five assists Jordi Alba has this season, he also leads La Liga for xA per 90 minutes, crosses into the penalty area, and passes into the penalty area. #fcb #fcblive pic.twitter.com/fWxdR13bjm
— Football España (@footballespana_) February 9, 2023
However he has been performing well when called upon. Against Sevilla last weekend he notched his fifth assist of the season and a goal. That adds to a series of impressive numbers he has averaging, topping some of the La Liga charts despite playing so little.
According to Sport, there are murmurs of discontent coming from Alba. He does not understand that those performances are not being rewarded by more starts. Alba is surprised that he continues to be on the bench so often as a result.
The report goes onto to say that he may end up on the market again next summer, thus the club are aiming to develop Balde. Most would agree though, that while Alba has been productive in the offensive third this season, Balde has mightily impressive and has won his spot fair and square.
Both players are playing well