When news finally broke that Carles Alena was heading to Real Betis on loan for the second half of the 2019/20 campaign, there was a tacit acknowledgment that it was for the benefit of both player and club.
Whilst the majority of supporters don’t agree that the youngster should have to ply his trade elsewhere and has to be given the chance to build on his appearances from last season at the Camp Nou, the plain fact is that he has been consistently overlooked since August.
With no purchase option available for the Verdiblancos, it does at least look as though Barca are being forward thinking in Alena’s case and allowing him much-needed match time elsewhere, but absolutely with a view to bringing him back at season’s end.
By then, it would be difficult to justify keeping Ivan Rakitic in the side, and Sergio Busquets certainly needs to be considered on a less frequent basis than he is currently.
A midfield consisting of any mix of De Jong, Arthur, Alena and Puig would arguably be the pick for most culers, with Sergi Roberto perhaps still considered in what was once his rightful position.
That would mean that there’s no room for Arturo Vidal of course.
Nor should there be after a frankly ill-advised complaint filed over the Christmas period.
Let’s be clear firstly that the Chilean, just like Paulinho before him, has exceeded expectations in the role for which he was bought.
So far this season, Arturo Vidal scores a goal every 105 minutes he plays, making him the 3rd most efficient attacking player in la Liga.— totalBarça (@totalBarca) December 26, 2019
Kind of crazy. pic.twitter.com/Ogr0jZaBtE
There is a school of thought that has some merit, whereby Vidal should also have been getting more game time than he has been receiving of late.
However, it’s not the first time that his true colours have shown through. Remember the angry emoji incident not long after his signing?
This latest, stunning lack of professionalism, has to end with him being shown the exit door.
He may well be owed bonuses by the club, but playing out the situation in the public domain is, I would suggest, purely to engineer a move away, most likely to Inter. That is abhorrent.
His assertion that it’s his agent and lawyer that are taking things forward, as if to absolve himself of blame, is preposterous, and it followed on from his training ground meltdown pre-Clasico when he realised that he wouldn’t be making the starting XI against Real Madrid.
These types of childish actions do not befit a 32-year-old experienced professional.
Though he would be a loss to the squad for what he does bring to both the pitch and the dressing room, Barca can’t possibly countenance keeping a player that has denounced them in public and filed a lawsuit against them whilst still in their employ.
If the board aren’t a laughing stock already, they will be if they allow Vidal to stay after this.