Talk about raising your profile in one fell swoop. After allowing team mate Isco to recieve most of the plaudits during the under 21 championships in Israel this month, Spain’s junior captain Thiago Alcantara, who is reportedly a target for Manchester United, saved his best for last with a superb first half hat-trick against a plucky, but ultimately outclassed Italy outfit on Tuesday.
With a header, a fine left-footed strike and a penalty the young Barcelona midfielder showed a broad spectrum of skills which gave ample evidence as to why he is supposedly sought-after around Europe. Some believe that the player isn’t happy at Barcelona because he’s not getting enough chances to play in the first-team with Iniesta, Xavi and Fabregas also in contention for the midfield roles. Although he played 36 times for The Catalan giants last season, he didn’t feature in some of the most crucial games and his patience may be wearing thin. At 22 he obviously wants to be playing a lot of football and some believe that a move away from Barcelona is the best option to help him realise his full potential.
But Barca centre-back and ex-Manchester United player Gerard Pique is not one of those. He told Spanish radio station Al Primer Toque on Onda Cero:
‘There is a possibility that he could leave but we have to convince him that the best place for him is Barcelona,’
‘Players in his position like Xavi were patient and they ended up defining an era.’
‘When you watch them (Spain U21s) and see how superior they have been in this tournament you realise that the future is very positive,’
After a superb performance in Israel on Tuesday the clamour for Alcantara will only intensify. Manchester United clearly need a magician in the middle and with Fabregas seemingly ruling himself out of any switch to Manchester United, top quality options are thin on the ground. We at soccersweep think that Alcantara would be a hit at Manchester United and possibly still have a part to play in the long-term future of Barcelona.
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