17-year-old La Masia left-back Alejandro Balde will be out for six weeks after he suffered an ankle sprain during last weekend’s friendly loss from Barça B against Cornella. For his reaction, taken off on a stretcher and covering his face, it looked like it could be even more serious, so thankfully it seems less than what first feared.
Even so, a month and a half out is quite a bit, especially after he had had an excellent start to the new campaign and was challenging for the starting spot at Barça B. He should theoretically still be playing with the Juvenil, but he arguably is the academy’s most promising left-back and he has always exhibited a complete maturity and readiness to compete with people older than him.
With Sergio Akieme, almost 6 years older than him, loaned out to Almeria, and Juan Miranda to Betis, Baldé actually had a good chance of being the reserves’ starter on the left. 18-year-old Senegalese Moussa Ndiaye had been signed but he can play both at centre-back and left-back, and will for now start at the Juvenil A. So now, it is Mika Mármol, also promoted from the Juvenil, who may be the starting left-back during these weeks, although he can play in central defence as well.
That said, Garcia Pimienta had shown full faith in Alejandro Balde so far, and for good reason. Very technical, intelligent, explosive, lightining fast…It is important that he gets well soon and becomes Barça B’s starter, because his ceiling is tremendously high and, despite him being very young, soon the first team will need new left-backs.