JORDI ALBA IS ONCE AGAIN A KEY PLAYER UNDER ERNESTO VALVERDE

While the 15 million euros spent on the signing of Jordi Alba by Barcelona sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta was a sound investment it is also true that he has had ups and downs in his form over the past six years and at the moment he is going through a rich vein.

Ernesto Valverde has come in and made the defence more secure with Alba's performances in particular improving and the coach has consistently played a flat back four rather than the three that was employed at times by Luis Enrique and offered meant Alba was relegated to the bench.

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Interestingly, Alba believes that the departure of Neymar has helped him.

"Without help I have a lot more space and all the wing for me," said the player from the Hospitalet area of Barcelona.

Despite missing three games through suspension, Alba has played 1,245 minutes this season, he has started nine of 11 games and Digne, who is a starter in the France national team, is very much his understudy now.

Going forward, Alba has five assists in LaLiga compared to just one at this stage of the campaign and had only played 647 minutes.

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SOURCE: MARCA

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