A last-minute change on Spain World Cup Squad has been confirmed, MySportDab reports.
Barcelona youngster Alejandro Balde is now set to replace Valencia left-back Luis Gaya.
Luis Enrique has reportedly called up the Barcelona starlet after Luis Gaya sustained an injury that ruled him out of the World Cup.
The change became necessary after Luis Gaya suffered an ankle injury during a training session with the national team on Wednesday.
It was confirmed that the injured left-back will be ruled out of action for at least ten days, meaning he will miss two World Cup Games against Costa Rica and Germany.
Meanwhile, Spain head coach Luis Enrique had reportedly considered keeping Gaya but later opted for a change of heart on Friday.
After Luis Gaya’s injury, the only left back that has left with Spain’s squad was Barcelona’s Jordi Alba, and Aymeric-Laporte of Manchester City was used as an improvised defender in Spain’s friendly with Jordan.
While Gaya may be disappointed, Balde, 19, is now afforded an opportunity to make his first appearance for Spain’s national team at the senior level.
He has not featured for the senior side and was set to feature in Spain’s U21 clash against Japan before receiving the late call-up by Luis Enrique.
Another player who would have replaced Luis Gaya is former Chelsea and now Barcelona defender Marcus Alonso, but Luis Enrique chose to go for Alejandro Balde instead despite the former having played under him six times.
Meanwhile, there was a growing call in Spain to include the young Balde in the Spain squad because of his tool form for the Catalans this season.
However, Luis Enrique ignored the calls and went for Luis Gaya instead, probably on the grounds of being more experienced than Balde.
Now, the youngster has been given a rare chance to represent his country in his first major tournament with the country.
Spain will begin their 2022 World Cup campaign against Costa Rica before taking on Germany and Japan.