Xavi stopped Barcelona from loaning out breakout La Masia talent in the summer
Alejandro Balde has been one of the rising stars in La Liga this season, having become the first-choice left-back for Barcelona in a matter of months, thanks to a series of impressive performances in domestic competitions.
Balde’s rapid rise to prominence was capped off by his maiden call-up to the Spanish national team when the youngster had to be called in as a replacement for the injured Jose Gaya.
However, in the midst of excitement surrounding Balde’s ascension to the national team, former Barcelona sporting director Ramon Planes has confirmed that Barça wanted to loan out the youngster during the summer transfer window.
“This summer, we tried to loan Alejandro Balde. After Marcos Alonso signed, we thought Barcelona would loan him out. However, Xavi wanted to bet on the player,” revealed Planes (h/t Barça Universal), who is currently the director of Getafe.
Balde’s departure from Camp Nou on a loan deal was a believable idea at the time, especially after the club were able to capture Alonso. However, with Jordi Alba enduring a difficult start to the campaign, Balde’s presence soon proved to be key.
The 19-year-old has not disappointed either, stepping up to the plate whenever called upon and becoming the undisputed first-choice left-back at Camp Nou this season, leaving even the experienced Alba trailing in the pecking order.
As time progresses, Barcelona are bound to hand Balde a more important role in the side. However, the club must also resolve the player’s contract issue as his current deal at Camp Nou expires in 2024.
There have been talks of a new extension that could help the club seal the defender’s future. But with the World Cup just around the corner, the onus will be on the Catalans to move swiftly before any other interested parties try to lure the youngster away from Camp Nou.