Jordi Alba is excited by the appointment of Ernesto Valverde as Barcelona coach, saying he believes the change from Luis Enrique will be good for him.
Left-back Alba has been a regular since joining from Valencia in 2012, but found himself omitted from the side for some games last season as Luis Enrique employed a back three.
He was also rotated in and out of the team with Lucas Digne and, despite starting seven of the final eight games as Barca missed out on the La Liga title, ended the season disappointed with his game time.
“I’m very happy [with Valverde],” Alba said. “I think he’s a brave coach who likes playing with the ball.
“He’s had strong players with other qualities, and they have played with the ball. I asked my friends who have had him as their coach and they spoke highly of him.
“What’s clear is that [Valverde] will be better for me than Luis Enrique. I didn’t have the minutes I wanted, so I hope that this goes better for me — I’m excited about the new coach.”
Valverde will spend the next month working with sporting director Robert Fernandez on shaping the squad for next season.
Fernandez has already revealed that Barca are keen to re-sign Gerard Deulofeu from Everton, but the forward is unsure whether he wants to return to Camp Nou in a back-up role.
“It’s going to be a busy summer in my case,” Deulofeu said. “But I’m relaxed about it all and I’m certain everything will work out well.
“Sometimes I’ve thought about the future a little bit too much, which has been a mistake. We will see what happens.”
Samuel Marsden covers Barcelona for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @SamuelMarsden.