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Gayà fears the worst

While yet to be made official, the left-back’s injury before the Jordan match means Gayà is on his way back to Spain.

Soccer Football - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Arrival - Spain  team arrives in Doha - Hamad International Airport, Doha, Qatar - November 18, 2022 Spain's Jose Gaya with teammates arrive in Doha for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

José Gayà is on his way back to Spain, official confirmation pending. AS was told after the last meeting with the Spanish medical team that Luis Enrique had basically decided to give up hope on the Valencia left-back after suffering an ankle sprain in the run-up to the Jordan game (1-3).

The injury is not severe, but his presence is not guaranteed in any of the matches, so the manager has decided to make the call and replace the player. The doubts were so firm that the Spanish Federation even published a tweet in which they announced that José Gayà had left the squad, although the tweet was later removed.

Barcelona left-back Alejandro Baldé is the favourite to join up with the squad that arrived in Qatar on Thursday. Baldé has not yet made an appearance for the national side and is currently with the under-21 squad thanks to solid performances for his club.

Next on the list of left backs

AS can reveal that other candidates to substitute Gayà include Chelsea’s Marc Cucurella and Real Betis full-back Alex Moreno. Spain has until next Tuesday to make any changes to their squad. The substitute does not have to come from the original pre-list of 55 players that the RFEF send to FIFA three weeks ago.


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