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Ernesto Valverde wants Carles Alena and Oriol Busquets in Barcelona’s first-team squad next season

Barcelona v Real Madrid - La Liga Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

Ernesto Valverde held his pre-match press conference on Saturday ahead of the trip to Levante and perhaps the most interesting bit was talk about a couple of youngsters.

The Barcelona boss said that both Carles Alena and Oriol Busquets could be part of the first-team picture next season, although much may depend on how Busquets recovers from injury.

Busquets suffered a bad knee injury in training in February that required surgery and ruled him out for the rest of the season.

“In the case of Carles Aleña, I think it’s more or less clear he will be with us.

“He’s been training with us all season and doing well with the B team. The others, we will see. There’s Oriol Busuets, he’s one player we wanted to bring up but need to see how things are with him [after his injury].

”What I tend to do is have a closed squad. That’s how I like things to work, to focus on the players who are part of the squad, for them to feel comfortable. If you call [B team players] up just to send them back again, players can get lost, they don’t know where they stand.

”I have done it this year with Aleña and I have the feeling he doesn’t know what dynamic he’s working in. But it’s certainly good to have players in the B team who can play for the first team, like Aleña.”

Alena has featured for the first-team this season but only in the Copa del Rey. Let’s hope both players will be given chances to prove themselves at Camp Nou next season.

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