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Polar opposite trajectories at Barcelona for Alejandro Balde and Ferran Torres

Chalk and cheese…

Cadiz Cf V Fc Barcelona - Liga Santander Photo By Joaquin Corchero/Europa Press via Getty Images

One came to the club in a fanfare and blaze of glory, whilst the other quietly and studiously made his way into the senior ranks.

When Ferran Torres, a player who couldn’t get into Manchester City’s first team, signed on the dotted line with Barca for an eye-watering €55m, it was heralded as a new beginning for the Catalans.

A time to finally start looking forward rather than poring over the ruins that Josep Maria Bartomeu and his board had left behind.

Alejandro Balde has been well known to culers for some while now, though it’s doubtful that any can have expected him to have had quite the impact he has thus far.

At just 18 years of age, Balde, like fellow teens Pedri and Gavi before him, has shown no sign of nerves whatsoever.


Though still raw, he is beginning to grow into games and is an easy pic in the left-back slot for Xavi.

If the club are insistent on moving forward, then it’s the right decision to blood those that have shown promise - something that Ferran is sorely lacking.

A few moments during his Barca career notwithstanding, he has been an enormous disappointment.

Against Cadiz on Saturday, it was the perfect opportunity for him to shake things up a bit for Xavi.

A team that had not only not won a game in the current league season but also hadn’t scored, should’ve been there for the taking.

Devoid of confidence and their first-choice defence, Cadiz arguably might’ve provided Ferran with rich pickings.

And yet, one curling shot that fizzed past the woodwork aside, he did little to impress his coach.

Cadiz Cf V Fc Barcelona - Liga Santander Photo By Joaquin Corchero/Europa Press via Getty Images

His first touch was lamentable, his aim far from true and his anticipation and work-rate non-existent.

It says much that Barca only looked threatening down the left side when Balde or others were overlapping their attacking colleague.

Fortunately at this stage it doesn’t present Xavi with a selection headache in either case.

Balde has to be the first choice left-back at this point, with Marcos Alonso his deputy unless Xavi feels the former Chelsea man needs a slightly longer bedding in period.

Jordi Alba’s career at Camp Nou is all but over you feel, and though it would be hard for him to look at the situation objectively, even he would be hard pressed to disagree with Xavi’s selection.

For perhaps the first time since Luis Enrique we have a coach that picks on merit rather than reputation. Bodes well for the longer term.

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