Barcelona could be about to make one of their biggest mistakes of recent times.
Alejandro "Alex" Grimaldo has been one of the shining lights in Barca's B team over the last couple of seasons. The youngest ever to play at that level at 15 years of age, Grimaldo's star has continued to rise ever since and the captaincy of the reserves was a formality.
However, something is amiss.
Luis Enrique continues to ignore the claims of the player to be given a run in the side if Jordi Alba happens to be injured or out of form.
The youngster is a consummate left-back in the Barca style and whilst he doesn't possess the speed of Alba, there's everything else in his locker. Therefore it remains a mystery why he is continually overlooked.
A woefully out of form Jeremy Mathieu and an ageing and wantaway Adriano Correia have both been picked ahead of the youngster. A case of looking to the past to author the future it may be, but if the Catalans are as forward thinking as they profess to be, then Grimaldo has to be given his wings.
There isn't a logical reason as to why he is being kept out of the first team picture but, unfortunately, the player's public gripe that Enrique doesn't even talk to him won't have helped his cause. As we rush headlong into the winter transfer window, there will be no shortage of takers for this accomplished individual.
The third tier of Spanish football where Barca B currently reside is far too lowly a level for a player such as Grimaldo to be continuing his education. Arguably, the players preference is to stay at the club of his life but he needs to be given chances to impress the manager.
The steadfast refusal by Enrique to even run the rule over him rather limits his options. There are certainly enough games between now and the start of January where Grimaldo could at least be named among the substitutes.
If it's a matter of the player not having enough experience at the highest level, then the reality is that only Real Madrid and potentially Villarreal represent anything like a threat to Barca's position as joint leaders.
Furthermore, the Club World Cup is a fine opportunity to give the left-back a run out under little pressure. Should Enrique not be willing to bend then he at least needs to level with a player who has served his club with distinction ever since the day he first pulled on the Blaugrana a few seasons ago.
Does Luis Enrique need to bold and change his starting XI?
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