We all knew that Ronald Koeman would look to make some pretty major changes after taking over at the Nou Camp, but it’s a surprise to hear that he’s looking to overhaul the left back position.
Jordi Alba is getting older so he may only have a few years left at the top level, but his pace and attacking intent is vital to the way that Barcelona play.
He’s adventurous in attack and his pace allows him to stretch defences and overload the opposition when they are sitting deep, but he’s also got the athleticism to get back and cover too.
There will be questions about his lack of height and he can lack exposed when he’s forced to defend for long periods, but that’s rare when it comes to Barcelona.
Despite that, a report from Dutch outlet VP have quoted Marca in saying that Barca are looking to offload Alba, and they want to sign Ajax full back Nicolas Tagliafico instead.
You have to think that Koeman watched a lot of Dutch football when he was in charge of the national team, so he should be very familiar with the Argentine.
It would be an interesting change of direction because he’s the opposite of Alba – he’s fine in attack but his real strength comes in defence, so it would be interesting to see if that defensive solidity hurts Barca’s attacking game.
At this point it’s suggested that Ajax are holding out for an offer of more than €25m to let him go, but they also need to get rid of Alba or his understudy Junior Firpo to make it happen.