One for the Future : Alex Collado. Finally his time?

After an amazing performance by Alex Collado for Barcelona B against Badalona scoring 2 goals, Collado made headlines, looking for a call-up to the first team. Wednesday he was training with the main Barcelona squad for the first time this season. Collado could appear in the squad list to face Cornella in the Copa del Rey, and maybe playing some minutes.

Time at La Masia

Álex Collado Gutiérrez was born on April 22, 1999, in Sabadell. He joined La Masia in 2009, from RDC Espanyol. He started playing football at CE Mercantil at the age of 5, spending there 2 years before joining Espanyol. Barcelona was left impressed by Alex Collado and eventually signed him to Alevin B side in 2009, playing under Jordi Font. In 2014 fall, while playing at Cadet A the team reached the final of ETO cup losing to SL Benfica 4-1. Alex Collado was one of the top scorers in the tournament for the Barcelona youth team, scoring 2 goals.

2015 he was promoted to Juvenil B and one year later became a regular at Juvenil A. In the 2017/2018 season, Collado took the stage in Juvenil A, becoming the top scorer in the youth team with 13 league goals, also
scoring on 4 occasions in the Youth League. That season Barcelona won their second UEFA Youth League beating Chelsea 3-0 with the team coached by García Pimienta.

Promotion to Barcelona B

Later on, that season Alex was given his debut for Barcelona B in a second division game against Lorca FC by Gerard López for his heroics at Juvenil A and Youth League. In March 2018 Juvenil A led by Collado won Division of Honor league. After Barcelona B coach was sacked in April, Garcia Pimienta was brought to replace him as the coach. Garcia Pimienta straight away
promoted Collado to Barcelona B from Juvenil A, giving him a starting position in the team.

During 2018/2019 season Alex managed to get 5 goals and 3 assists in Segunda B division. Also, in May 2019, Collado made his official Barcelona debut under Valverde, starting in a 2-0 loss against Celta Vigo. In 2019/2020 Season Collado scored 5 goals and assisted another 5 in 24 games, before Segunda B was suspended, due to pandemic. However, Alex was called up by Setien to the first team, but managing to play only 5 minutes in La Liga.

Meanwhile, Barcelona B managed to get play-off places, however, Collado suffered an injury in July missing promotion play-offs and half of 2020/2021 season. In the summer it looked like Collado could leave on loan with Girona being close to agreeing to a deal. Eventually, Alex decided to stay at Barcelona B to fight for his dream of becoming a regular in the first team. So far this season in the last 4 matches, he scored 3 goals. Alex Collado made through the ranks of La Masia and now is looking to become a egular in Barcelona first team.

Playing Style

Similar player: Riyad Mahrez

Álex Collado is a number “10” who can play in midfield also on the wings. Alex played a couple of dozens of games both at right-wing and as a central midfielder. His intelligence lets him able to play in both positions and do it well. Understanding the game, whenever to pressure the opponent when to tackle or what space to occupy to limit opposition movement is one of the strengths Collado developed playing under Pimienta at Barcelona B. Spanish winger likes to dribble and take on players, thanks to his great ball control and being skilful on the ball. Collado managed to score a beautiful goal, eventually named goal of the season in Segunda B combining his best-attacking attributes.

Whenever Collado plays in midfield his main responsibility is to connect the midfield and attack. Thanks to his creativity, vision and incredible passing ability it defines him as an outstanding playmaker. Meanwhile, when he plays on the right side, he provides width with his positioning, whenever needed he can drop deep to help, building from the back, the same way Messi is doing in the first team.

One of his underestimated qualities is his work-rate. Collado contributes to attack massively, while not afraid to trace back to help out the team in the defence. His golden left-footed, with which Collado cut inside and shot, makes him a dangerous winger with a fantastic instinct for a goal. Alex has both natural talent and with his exceptional technique, he is a good option for Koeman.

What does the future hold for Collado?

Alex Collado signed a contract extension back in 2018 until 2021 with a club option for another 2 seasons. There were rumours in May of the club activating the clause, but so far, nothing happened. After elections, the club will decide regarding his future.

However, I believe, if he won’t enter first-team dynamics this season,
we could see him leave on loan or permanently deal with a buy-back option this summer. If the club activates the right of 2 more seasons, he could leave on loan to a La Liga side. Another option is to play in the second division of Spanish football. Garcia convinced Alex to fight for his dream of playing in the first team. But we could see him leave to gain experience.

Potential: 8.5/10 – Has potential to become a key player for a team in the top 5 leagues.

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