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Why Alejandro Grimaldo Will Be the Next Great Product from Barcelona's La Masia

Jason Pettigrove@@jaypetti1971Contributor IMay 22, 2015

Alejandro "Alex" Grimaldo is ready for a shot at the big time.
Alejandro "Alex" Grimaldo is ready for a shot at the big time.Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

Alejandro Grimaldo has been well known to Barcelona connoisseurs for years now.

Ever since he burst onto the scene as the youngest-ever Barca B graduate at 15 years and 349 days against Cartagena in the Segunda Division, Grimaldo has been destined for greatness.

A left-back by trade, the youngster has a style that is very easy on the eye and a maturity that far belies his tender years.

He may not have the sharp burst of speed as his contemporary in the position, Jordi Alba, but his crossing ability, passing accuracy and innate ability to read the game are from a player that operates at the very highest level.

Barça Tiki Taka @IndoAlexisAS

Alex Grimaldo (kanan) dan Adama Traore (kiri) http://t.co/giUEdn1CAx

Although many at the club and beyond talk about the emergence of Sergi Samper, Alen Halilovic and Adama Traore, all of those players will struggle to break into the side while the attacking and midfield berths are taken by the likes of Lionel Messi, Sergio Busquets, Andres Iniesta et al.

That's not to say that they won't ever pull on the Blaugrana in earnest, it just might not be as quick as supporters expect.

Alejandro Grimaldo @grimaldo35

🔴🔵 http://t.co/BUPurQgMkc

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Grimaldo, on the other hand, has a genuine chance of breaking into the first-team squad and giving Alba a real run for his money on that left side—providing he remains free of injury.

For example, Alba is frequently caught out of position, but his speed in getting back often covers for his initial incompetence.

Grimaldo is a much more considered player who doesn't fly forward at the drop of a hat. With defence very much in mind, he will gamble further upfield when possible, but only if he doesn't leave himself exposed at the back.

Should he station himself in a wide attacking berth, you can be assured that any delivery into the box or short passes where required will be executed with accuracy and aplomb.

Luis Enrique has already drafted him in for first-team duties this season, Grimaldo playing in the Catalan Cup against Espanyol, a trophy that Barcelona won on a penalty shootout—one of which was coolly dispatched by Grimaldo.

No matter the assignment, Grimaldo takes it all in his stride and nothing seems to faze him. Ever. 

That is a super quality for a player to possess, and no doubt the manager has already taken note of the same.

His football grounding hasn't been exclusively Barca-led given that he was at Valencia for two years before joining the Blaugrana at just 13 years of age.

But to that end, however, he already has six years of experience of life at this monumentally huge Spanish institution and the pressures therein.

His performances at all levels of La Masia have already seen him take international honours from the U16 level of Spain's national side right through to the U21's. Well deserved call-ups they are too.

LaLiga @LaLiga

El @FCBmasia no podrá contar en lo que queda de temporada con @grimaldo35 http://t.co/vrqrAWYeRG #SienteLaLiga http://t.co/LxFe5V1vHp

There will be no surprises for this most studious of operators when he is eventually called upon for regular first-team action, and it will be no surprise to anyone else if Grimaldo is introduced into the first team at some point during the 2015/16 season.

The only question mark that could possibly prevent this happening would be a longer-than-usual recovery from his latest injury, which required him to leave the field on a stretcher—as seen above.

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