David Alaba

There are very few players who can be world-class in +2 positions, but David Alaba is one of them. One of those footballers who offer their managers an infinite palette with all technical, tactical, cognitive and physical aptitudes to experiment with, as Pep Guardiola found out. He was the first to use the natural left-back at centre-back, could deploy him in midfield, on the wing…

His understanding of the game is exceptional. He is differential with the ball at his feet, always giving the right accuracy and weight to his deliveries and long balls. Defensively, he is perfect to defend with a high line, as shown at Bayern. And physically he is fast, exuberant, agile…

He will turn 29 but, seeing how careers are stretching out these days, I think he has perhaps his 3-4 peak years ahead, and maybe can perform at a very high level till he is 35. By no means in decline. Now he will only continue to gain more maturity. Footballing wise, it is undeniable Alaba would be a huge addition as he could solve +3 positions, especially left centre-back and left-back before Alejandro Balde was ready.

Economically, that’s another question. Though a free agent, that Bayern couldn’t afford his wages is the reason why he is leaving them. Real Madrid seemed to have a verbal agreement with him, and like Toni Kroos in 2014, if we did not sign him it would not only be a unique market opportunity we would have let go, but one which would strengthen our direct rivals. Joan Laporta is a good friend of Alaba’s agent Pini Zahavi, but the club’s economy will have the last say on transfers this year.

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