This article is part of Football FanCast’s Transfer Focus series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent transfer news…
It hasn’t really been a good start to the new season for Carles Alena, one of Barcelona’s big La Masia talismans. And according to Marca, the 21-year-old could be looking towards an exit option in January already.
What’s the word, then?
The youngster was always supposed to be the next big thing at the Catalan capital.
After all, Alena was a big star back at Barcelona B where he mustered 89 appearances and looked set to join the seniors after netting 18 goals and assisting a further 14 for the younger crop of Blaugrana players.
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And that came true this season as the 21-year-old talisman was finally a part of the first-team under Ernesto Valverde. But despite a bright start to the campaign, it has quickly gone downhill.
Now, he could be on his way out come January and looking at his position at the club, that might not be such a bad idea after all.
A new chance
It’s always a big shame when an academy graduate fails to live up to the expectations and ends up leaving the club of his youth behind.
But that’s also nothing particularly new, especially at Barcelona.
Long gone are the days of the golden La Masia generations and Alena wouldn’t be the first nor the last talent having to depart and seek his fortune elsewhere, away from Catalonia.
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Seeing how we have only seen him on the pitch for 45 minutes in the entirety of the 2019/20 campaign so far, it’s pretty clear that Ernesto Valverde doesn’t really count on Alena.
He made his first and last appearance in the curtain-raiser against Athletic Bilbao back in August and then he was gone, nowhere to be seen since.
As strange as this situation is, with so many midfielders in the squad, it’s difficult to see Alena making a sudden breakthrough, even if Ivan Rakitic, the other midfielder reportedly close to the exit door, leaves in the not so distant future.
That would still leave Alena competing with five other midfield players, all of whom seem to be ahead of him in the pecking order if their tally of minutes so far this season is any indication.
Does Carles Alena have a future at the club?
As it currently stands, a January exit, either in the form of a loan or a permanent deal, could be the ideal solution to this problem.
After all, that could be the only way Alena can actually make a step forward in his career.