There will always be youth academies that are capable of producing good players, but Valencia have an unbelievable record when it comes to developing left backs.
In recent years they’ve developed Jordi Alba, Juan Bernat, Salva Ruiz and Jose Gaya, while there will be some hopes that Toni Lato could be added to that list.
Jordi Alba is still playing at a high level with Barcelona but he will turn 32 in a couple of months, so it makes sense to start looking for his long-term successor.
It would make complete sense to move for another Valencia left-back who would follow the same path as Alba if he moved to the Nou Camp, so ESPN have linked Barca with a move for Jose Gaya.
It feels like Gaya has been around forever but he’s still only 25, while he’s played in over 300 senior games and he also looks like becoming the regular starter for Spain in that spot.
Gaya also plays in a similar style where he’s not the tallest but he’s rapid and loves to bomb forward in attack, so he really does look like the natural option to replace Alba.
The report does indicate that Barca would need to sell Junior Firpo first so perhaps this transfer would need to wait until the summer, but Valencia are struggling for cash and Gaya deserves better than playing for a club who just want to sell all of their best players so it won’t be a surprise if this does eventually happen.