It has been a whirlwind of a season for Barcelona youngster Alejandro Balde.
From being linked with a potential loan exit early in the summer to becoming the first-choice left-back for the club and playing in the World Cup for Spain, it has been a tremendous journey for the teenager.
Indeed, Balde had been tipped for a loan move before the season started, with Getafe showing an interest. But, manager Xavi Hernandez blocked the move and the decision has paid off handsomely for the player and the club.
The teenager has overtaken Jordi Alba in the pecking order at Spotify Camp Nou and was rewarded with a call-up to the Spain national team for the World Cup, following the injury to Jose Gaya.
Balde made his debut for La Roja yesterday, coming off the bench in the 7-0 win over Costa Rica. While he did not play for very long, he showed his quality and potential in the short time he was on the pitch.
Given his meteoric rise in the past few months, it does not come as a surprise that Barcelona want to secure the long-term future of the La Masia graduate.
Balde’s current contract with Barça expires in 2024 and the club are working hard to finalise a new deal for the 19-year-old. The left-back has confirmed the same in a recent chat with Helena Condis of COPE, while also reaffirming that he wants to stay put at Camp Nou.
“They [club] are working on that. I want to stay at Barça. What has to happen will happen,” he said.
Recent reports suggest that Balde and Barcelona are close to finalising a new contract which would see the club tie down the youngster until the summer of 2027 and shield him with a massive €500 million release clause.