·2 June 2023
·2 June 2023
Despite largely playing as Alejandro Balde’s backup this season, Jordi Alba has enjoyed a stellar season for the minutes he has received. In 24 appearances across the league season, he has scored two goals, while giving three assists.
And if that was not enough, his creative numbers are truly tremendous, with 12 big chances created, and an average of 1.6 key passes per game.
However, his time in a Barcelona jersey is up, as the player is set to leave the club after 11 seasons with the first team after returning. Alba is expected to continue his venture in European football right now, unlike Sergio Busquets, who might go to Saudi Arabia or MLS.
There are three clubs interested in signing him, according to a report by Fernando Polo: Atletico Madrid, Inter Milan, and Benfica.
Atletico will likely be losing Yannick Carrasco in the summer, who has been responsible for the left-wing as a LWB under Diego Simeone in the last two to three seasons.
They will need to find a replacement for the Belgian, and Alba can replicate his role in a different way.
The Spaniard is excellent at finding space across the flank, and then playing dangerous passes into the six-yard box.
While he will have to step up his defensive commitment, Alba should be able to increase Atletico’s overall productivity and creative numbers.
That said, it seems rather unlikely that Alba joins a La Liga rival after such an emotional end to his Barça tenure. The fact that his numbers, at least per 90/game, have not taken too much of a hit, could mean he is up for it, though.
Another team that largely deploys a 3-5-2 system – something that would do wonders for Alba. Deployed as a left wing-back, the Spaniard will be able to hold width without any problem, and will have the license to attack the box as he often likes to.
Further, with the likes of Edin Dzeko, Romelu Lukaku, and Lautaro Martinez up top, Alba’s crosses should not have problems finding the head of a teammate.
Inter were interested in Alba during last summer as well, and Barcelona had reportedly reached an agreement with them for the veteran left-back. However, he ended up refusing to leave, confident that he could win his spot back from Balde.
Benfica would be looking to replace Alejandro Grimaldo in the summer, who is set to leave them on a free transfer. The 27-year-old is one of the most creative defenders in the top five leagues, with five goals, and nine assists to his name alongside 22 big chances created.
While Alba does not have this much diversity in his attacking portfolio, he should not have too much problem replicating Grimaldo’s creative numbers to a large extent.
All said and done, Alba is yet to make a decision over his future. One thing is certain, though, that he will have full command on it as he would leave as a free agent, forgiving a huge chunk of his salary to help Barcelona’s dire financial condition.
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