Barcelona youngster could get a World Cup call-up over veteran defender for Spain
With the FIFA World Cup 2022 set to kick off in a little under three weeks, the excitement is starting to mount ahead of the quadrennial extravaganza.
The qualified teams will soon start naming squads for the tournament, with a few nations already releasing the provisional rosters.
Spain manager Luis Enrique will be keeping a close eye on proceedings over the next couple of weeks as he will be naming his final squad for the World Cup on November 10.
Of the many major decisions that Lucho will have to take, the left-back position will pose a major challenge for the former Barcelona manager, given the riches that Spain have in that position.
Indeed, the likes of Jose Gaya, Jordi Alba, Marcos Alonso, Marc Cucurella and Javi Galan are some of the options that could be in contention for a spot in the Spain squad.
But according to La Razon, another new name has been thrown into the ring and that is none other than Barcelona youngster Alejandro Balde.
The 19-year-old is enjoying a fine breakthrough campaign at Barça, becoming the first-choice left-back under Xavi Hernandez ahead of Alba and Alonso. So far, he has played 11 times in all competitions for the Catalans, registering three assists in the process.
And, as per the report, Enrique could decide to call Balde up for the World Cup even though he is yet to play at the senior level for the Spanish national team.
Alonso has had the least number of minutes of the three Barça left-backs this season. And considering that he was not called up by Enrique during the last international break either, it is understood that the summer signing will not be in contention for a call-up for the World Cup.
One of the spots is certain to be taken up by Gaya. While Alba was picked by Enrique last month even though he had hardly played, the manager could lean towards Balde when the World Cup arrives, owing to his greater involvement and better form.
Cucurella is also an outside contender, and it remains to be seen what Lucho decides when it comes to selecting the left-backs for the World Cup.