Barcelona’s squad’s average age has gone from 26.52 to 25.5 years old after the summer transfer window. On that side, Gérard Piqué, born in February 1987, is the oldest at 33 years old, and Pedri, the exciting wonderkid, is the youngest at 17 years old. This rejuvenation of the squad has been well received by the Culés who were fed up with seeing the same heavyweights getting their way with little to no effort.
For example, last February when Barcelona faced Napoli in Naples, the Blaugranas lined up with one of the oldest Champions League squads in their history with an average of 28.3 years old. With players like Ivan Rakitic, Luis Suarez, and Arturo Vidal gone, the squad has been rejuvenated and even Sergiño Dest is six years younger than Nélson Semedo, who he replaced at Camp Nou.
However, even if the squad is younger, the board is still short-sighted as the squad could’ve been much younger had Arthur and Pjanic not changed allegiances last summer. The board confirmed the deal was to balance the books and, while the rejuvenation was needed and is appreciated, this shouldn’t be a reason for them to clear themselves from everything that has happened under Josep Maria Bartomeu’s tenure.
Barça midfielder Aleña speaks following his first start in nearly a year
Carles Aleña started his first game for Barça in nearly a year. His last start for his boyhood club came in December 2019 against Inter Milan, and Ronald Koeman selected him against Dynamo Kyiv after injuries decimated his squad. After his impressive display, Aleña spoke to the media.
“I’m very happy to return to the field. We played a great game and we took advantage of our chances.”Carles Aleña | Post-match press conference
Aleña ended his ordeal with a near-Man of the Match performance away to the Ukrainians. The Spanish youngster was his team’s metronome and misplaced one solitary pass. His pass map is a joy to behold and the midfielder deserves a lot of recognition for that display.
📸 — Aleñá’s pass map against Kyiv tonight.— Barça Universal (@BarcaUniversal) November 24, 2020
Not a back-passer at all. pic.twitter.com/Ah5QrsgW3N
At the beginning of the year, Ronald Koeman did not fancy Aleña at all. He and Riqui Puig were ostracised, but the two of them showed a lot of resilience against Kyiv. Hopefully, their coach opens his eyes.
“Playing with the first team requires a lot of hard work.”Carles Aleña | Post-match press conference
We will have to wait and see whether Koeman is on the same page with the fans regarding Aleña’s performance. One thing is clear: the 22-year-old can play a crucial role in the team if used correctly.