Jordi Alba: The Flying Fullback To Succeed Patrice Evra at Manchester United

After a scintillating Spanish debut against the Scots, Jordi Alba can use the Wembley turf as an audition to quell Manchester United's full-back shortcomings.
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After a scintillating Spanish debut against the Scots, Jordi Alba can use the Wembley turf as an audition to quell Manchester United's full-back shortcomings.

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As Patrice Evra's post-World Cup stagnation continues to fester, Manchester United need only look to Iberia at Jordi Alba to re-energise their left flank.

Who is he?

Spain’s next two friendlies against England and Costa Rica may not mean a great deal to a large chunk of the squad whose positions are secure and would probably be preferring a nice break, thank you very much. But they certainly do to Jordi Alba. The Valencia defender is just one of the competitors in an X-Factor contest Vicente Del Bosque is holding for the side’s vacant left-back position - a tussle also featuring Málaga’s Nacho Monreal and the ever-consistent Alvaro Arbeloa.

The Catalan began his career in Barcelona’s youth ranks but was considered too small - and that’s saying something with Xavi knocking about - but was picked up by Valencia, who turned a flexible footballer who was a winger into a defender and gave Alba his La Liga debut in September 2009.  “It is unusual to convert a left-winger to a left-back but Unai Emery has done it well, Alba is good both defensively and offensively now,” claimed Vicente Del Bosque on the effort put in by the footballer’s club coach.

Alba was left out of Spain’s U-21 squad in the summer’s European Championship but has since kicked off his career with the first team making his debut in what turned out to be an impressive performance in the clash against Scotland in Alicante.

He is adept at playing anywhere on the left flank.

Strengths

Despite Alba’s young age, the 22-year-old player is already adept at playing anywhere on the left flank meaning two footballers for the price of one should Manchester United want to splash out on a player who looks likely to become a regular international for Spain.

Weaknesses

Physically, Alba is not the biggest at five-foot-seven so is likely to be a bit of a push-over at the back, but his speed, dynamism and technique going forward is a handy trade-off.

Chances of signing him

Very high. Valencia is always going to be a selling club due to the massive debts that are still being paid down. David Villa, David Silva and Juan Mata are all Spanish internationals that have been flogged over the past two seasons. It would be no surprise if Jordi Alba were to follow the trio in return for some crucial income.

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