After a summer filled with hope and high expectations, FC Barcelona’s season has gotten off to a wild start.
The Catalans went all out in the summer to try to bolster the team as much as possible to go along with the essential components of their long-term ambition after winning La Liga the previous season.
One of those components was left-back Alejandro Balde, who had a fantastic breakthrough campaign in 2022–2023 and was a key member of a strong backline that was likely the primary factor in the Blaugrana’s two championships.
But things have been, to put it mildly, precarious since the start of this new campaign.
Many players, including Balde, appear to have lost some of their form and are not nearly playing at the same level as they did the previous season. According to recent reports from BTV esports, the club has taken note of this.
Are we becoming complacent?
It was demonstrated several times during the last campaign that Balde is the exact type of player Barcelona needs at left back.
For the Catalans, his remarkable speed, dribbling prowess, and unwavering confidence allowed him to break past his opponent and recover on the defensive end.
In terms of his final-third deliveries and overall decision-making, he first showed that he was unrefined, but last season he also appeared to be gradually becoming better at it.
But this campaign, he seems to have regressed again in that department and even defensively, he has been caught out of position far too many times but has seemingly not put in enough effort to get back.
While moving forward, he hasn’t quite taken on his man enough, and Barcelona seems to be closely monitoring this.
Unquestionably, he is a unique talent, and Marcos Alonso, although he may occasionally pose a threat with the ball, is not the best player for this club.
In addition to the possibility that complacency has crept in due to the lack of strong competition and the fact that Balde recently inked a five-year contract at Barcelona, the team also believes that Balde’s decision not to be called up to the Spain squad this time around could function as incentive.
Given his history playing left defense, they might also try to force Balde to find the incredible level he is capable of by using Joao Cancelo in that position.