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Barcelona starlet will get chances on US tour as first-team regular recovers from injury

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Photo courtesy: FC Barcelona official website

As Barcelona embark on yet another pre-season tour to the United States, there are numerous players who are looking to establish themselves ahead of the new campaign.

However, one of the players who might not see much action is Alejandro Balde. One of the rising stars in Spanish football last season, the young left-back is still recovering from the ankle injury he sustained towards the end of the previous campaign.

But according to SPORT, Balde’s injury could prove to be a boon for another Barça youngster in Alex Valle. The 19-year-old has been one of the surprise inclusions in Xavi’s setup as Barcelona begin their tour and could receive a few opportunities to impress during the tour.

A native of Badalona, Valle has been a part of the Barcelona youth setup for a while now. He was notably loaned out to FC Andorra – a club part-owned by Gerard Pique – for the second half of the last season. He even ended up featuring in seven matches in the second division.

Although Valle was not able to help Andorra earn a promotion to the top flight, he has clearly done enough to impress Xavi.

A left-back by trade, the Spaniard had made an early impression with his performances for Rafa Marquez’s Barça Atletic side last season. And with Balde still not 100% fit, Valle could get a few opportunities to start in Barcelona’s upcoming friendlies in the US.

However, it must be noted that game-time will not come guaranteed from the young man from Badalona. He must compete with the experienced Marcos Alonso for the position, though it will not come as a surprise to see him start at least one of the four friendlies.

Making an impression during the pre-season tour to the US may open up an opportunity for Valle to remain part of the Barcelona setup for the season ahead. Although he might not get a call-up to the senior side anytime soon, he could prove to be an emergency option for Xavi sometime next season.

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