Barcelona’s pre-season campaign is set to start on July 4, giving manager Xavi Hernandez the chance to get a good look at his players and sketch out his plans for the upcoming campaign.
The 42-year-old tactician will get a good look at some of the stars who were on loan last season, after which he will take a call over their future at Camp Nou.
However, according to Diario AS, one of the players who spent the previous season on loan already has a place in the manager’s plans. Indeed, according to the report, La Masia Graduate Alex Collado will be part of Barcelona’s first-team line-up next season.
Last summer was unforgettable for Collado as he was sent off from pre-season camp to complete a loan move to Club Brugge. However, the move fell through and later in the window a vaunted loan move to Sheffield United also failed to materialise.
As a result, Collado remained in limbo, not having been included in the first team or the B team for the first half of the season. When January arrived, the versatile midfielder left the club to join Granada on loan and made an impression.
Collado made 17 appearances in the second half of the season and scored two goals, while scoring one more, but couldn’t help Granada avoid relegation.
However, the 23-year-old, who can play in the middle of the park or on the flanks, has shown progress during his short spell at Granada. And that left a sufficient impression on manager Xavi, who is ready to keep Collado at Barcelona for the next campaign.
The same can’t be said for another young prospect returning from loan at Francisco Trincao. The 22-year-old has failed to make a decisive impact at Wolves and is likely to be moved on, with Barca imposing an €18m price tag on the winger.