As confirmed by the Spanish Football Federation, José Luis Gayà has been replaced by Alejandro Balde in Spain’s World Cup squad.
The Valencia captain suffered a sprained ankle before La Roja’s friendly match against Jordan at the Amman International Stadium, which the visitors eventually won thanks to goals from Ansu Fati, Gavi and Nico Williams.
While the injury is not major, Luis Enrique opted to send Gayà home as he would not be available for any of the group stage matches.
The Asturian coach has chosen Balde as the Valencia captain’s replacement, who is yet to make his debut for the senior side.
The 19-year-old is currently away on international duty with the U21 team, but is expected to join the senior squad soon in Qatar.
Balde has established himself as a regular starter at Barcelona under Xavi. He has made 16 appearances in all competitions so far this season for the Blaugrana.
GSFN | Tom Cserép