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Carles Alena making early impression on Ronald Koeman at Barcelona

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The midfielder has impressed on the training ground

Real Sociedad v FC Barcelona - La Liga Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images

Carles Alena looks like he could be one of the big winners of Barcelona’s decision to appoint Ronald Koeman as their new manager.

The midfielder spent the second half of last season on loan at Real Betis after struggling for game time but was named in Koeman’s first starting XI against Nastic.

According to Mundo Deportivo, Koeman’s decision to start Alena was not just to give him minutes but also a reward for the youngster after impressing during pre-season training.

Koeman is described as being “more than satisfied” with Alena in training and also reckon he was “convinced” by the midfielder’s performance against Nastic.

The Dutch coach now has two more games this week to check on his players. First up are Girona on Wednesday, followed by Elche on Saturday in the Joan Gamper Trophy.

New signing Miralem Pjanic is also likely to come into contention for those game. He’s being tipped to make his debut this week after beginning training with the club.