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Barcelona youngster the favourite to replace injured Spain defender for the World Cup



Photo by Eric Alonso/Getty Images

According to the latest update from COPE, Spain defender Jose Gaya has been ruled out of the FIFA World Cup 2022 and will leave the national team camp.

The Valencia left-back suffered an ankle injury in training on Wednesday following which he missed the team’s friendly against Jordan which La Roja won 3-1.

Luis Enrique had provided an update on Gaya’s injury, stating that a decision on his involvement in the World Cup will be made today. And as things stand, the 27-year-old seems to be out of the World Cup.

And, AS is now reporting that Barcelona youngster Alejandro Balde is the favourite to replace Gaya in the Spain squad in Qatar.

The 19-year-old has enjoyed a fine breakthrough campaign with the Blaugrana this year and is thriving under the tutelage of Xavi Hernandez.

Balde had been named on the provisional squad for the World Cup by Enrique, but the Spain boss eventually opted to take Gaya and Jordi Alba to the competition.

However, following the development with the Valencia captain, Balde is now said to be the frontrunner to be called up if the manager decides to add another left-back to his squad.

Balde’s Barcelona teammate Marcos Alonso would also be in the running given his experience and recent form. But, as things stand, the report states that the teenager is the favourite to replace Gaya in the La Roja squad.

In such a case, it will be a huge moment for the La Masia ace, who is enjoying a great run so far with the first team. An update on the matter could emerge in the next few hours.

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