Today’s new player profile is all about Barcelona’s new signing is Francisco “Paco” Alcacer from Valencia.
The Spanish International was born on August 30, 1993 in Torrent a suburb of Valencia proper. He is a product of the Valencia Football Academy entering their academy at the tender age of 12 after impressing local scouts for his club team Torrent FC, in Valencia. He debuted for the second/reserves team in 2009, just four years after joining the academy at age 16. Finally, he played at all of the Spanish International youth teams, including an appearance in the U-17 2010 European Championships. After shining for the reserves and the youth International team, he made the jump to the Valencia senior squad for the 2010-11 season.
For Valencia’s senior team, he made 92 appearances in six years at the club. He scored 30 goals and impressed in plenty of successful seasons that led to European qualification in both Champions and the Europa leagues. He was loaned out once in 2012 for that season to Getafe, totaling 21 appearances and notching 3 goals. His above average performance led to his breakthrough year in the 2013-14 season with Valencia. That season ended in a call up to the Spanish national team in 2014. For the National team, he has made 13 appearances scoring 6 goals. With Valencia, his performances led to being awarded the famed number 9 shirt, which he took as a huge honor.
This Summer, FC Barcelona decided to sign the striker, being in need of a quality backup to Luis Suarez. They signed him for 30 million Euros, which our friend has more information on the transfer here. For this squad, a quality backup like Paco can bring many skills to the team, including being efficient in short passes and a clinical finisher in the air. One weakness is his desire, or lack thereof, to hustle back to defend. He is a back to goal striker, taking advantage of great 1-2 passing with his creative midfielders.
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Alcacer has the fortune of playing with two great ones (Rakitic and Iniesta), although he’ll more likely be with the backups Denis Suarez and Rafinha. Overall, his skills bode well for the team and will be very essential. With his limited role as squad rotation player, he should be fresh and productive when called upon. This is a really intriguing deal that Barca made and hopefully he lives up to Barca’s lofty expectations.