Ronald Koeman prepared to give Barcelona youngster priority over veteran superstar.
Newly appointed Barcelona boss, Ronald Koeman, has decided to give Jordi Alba’s replacement a rare opportunity to prove himself. Alba has been the undisputed left-back at the Nou Camp ever since his arrival from Valencia in 2012. Now 31 years of age, the Spaniard has struggled to play consistently throughout the entire season. His injury last season prompted Barca management to realize that the squad is heavily lacking in alternatives as despite getting multiple opportunities, Junior Firpo failed to deliver.
Former coach, Ernesto Valverde, was forced to use right-back Nelson Semedo in the left flank, taking the Portuguese international away from his comfortable position while making Sergi Roberto move away from midfield. Firpo was given the opportunity under Quique Setien but could not compete against the top clubs in Spain.
After the historic loss against Bayern Munich, multiple veterans are said to potentially lose their undisputed status in the starting eleven with Alba being named in the list. Koeman has spoken to the Spaniard regarding the possibility of being benched if he fails to perform consistently and show desire.
Alba came under heavy criticism after a video showcased him crying during the half-time break against Liverpool in the Champions League. Barca were losing 1-0 away at Anfield but arrived in England having beaten the Reds 3-0 at home. Liverpool will have to score 4 goals in order to continue and that’s if Barca fails to score a single goal and yet the former Valencia winger was seen heart-broken with the idea of defeat well before it happened.
The mentality of the Spanish international has come under question with many players like Alex Telles, Nicolas Tagliafico, and Jose Luis Gaya being linked with a move to Camp Nou in order to replace him. Meanwhile, Koeman looks to sell Firpo in order to recover the 20 million euros the Catalans paid Real Betis in 2019.
While a new arrival might be difficult with the transfer priority being placed on a new striker and central-defender, the Dutch coach is now willing to give a returning youngster a rare opportunity. Juan Miranda has been on loan at Schalke 04 for a whole season but only managed to make 12 appearances for the German side.
The former Netherland football team boss is ready to give Miranda the required opportunities to convince him to remain with the club or else the defender will likely look to depart as he has shown desire to join a club that offers him regular minutes.
Image Credit – FC Barcelona Facebook