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Alejandro "Álex" Baena Rodríguez

coy-spurs1882

Well-Known Member
Aug 31, 2012
4,122
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I guess it’s time to do my write up of him that I’ve been too lazy to finish.

For what it’s worth i really hope we get him alongside Doué
would be happy if we can get 2 of Eze, Baena, Gudmundsson and Doue, and I think we need add 2 new attackers
 

fecka

Well-Known Member
Jun 24, 2013
2,380
6,617
Baena looks like a poor man's Maddison IMO. Questionable decision-making, awkward technique for an AM, and not the greatest pass selection from what I've seen. Great vision though.
For the outlay, I feel we can do a lot better.

If we go for him, I sure hope I'm wrong though.
 

Snarfalicious

Well-Known Member
Jul 15, 2012
15,808
72,845
Tbh 'Footballtransfer.com' 'exclusive' source is probably spurscommunity transfer forum :ROFLMAO:

1715697977031.gif
 

Snarfalicious

Well-Known Member
Jul 15, 2012
15,808
72,845
Baena looks like a poor man's Maddison IMO. Questionable decision-making, awkward technique for an AM, and not the greatest pass selection from what I've seen. Great vision though.
For the outlay, I feel we can do a lot better.

If we go for him, I sure hope I'm wrong though.
1715702518357.gif
 

EQP

EQP
Sep 1, 2013
8,112
30,316
Appreciate Barca and Real are the pinnacle for Spanish players but highlighting the buy out clause in a 'come and get me' plea is disrespectful to Villareal. I wouldnt be happy if a Spurs player did this.
Coupled with the alledged Valverde situation there are indications he might not be the best character to bring in.

He was asked directly about his clause and Barca. He wasn’t bringing it up voluntarily. Don’t think this makes him seem like a bad character tbh.

My clause? I think that we have to talk to Fernando Roig about this, but that we will have to pay the €60m if they want me to leave. Who wouldn’t like to go to Barca? It would be one of the biggest dreams as a footballer, it is the best team in the world, but I am in the club of my life and I hope to be there for many years,

When you read the quotes in full, I think he handled that well.
 

Ghost Hardware

Well-Known Member
Aug 31, 2012
19,222
67,683
Questionable decision-making, awkward technique for an AM, and not the greatest pass selection from what I've seen. Great vision though.
For the outlay, I feel we can do a lot better.

If we go for him, I sure hope I'm wrong though.
I’m sorry bud but I’m going to disagree with you on some of this. You are right about the decision making and pass selection. He does need to learn to be more selective but he is only 22, I think you would be hard pressed to find many players under the age of 24 that don’t suffer from decision making issues.

One of the big differences between Maddison and Baena is that Alex is always looking to move the ball upfield quickly. He plays a lot of one or two touch passes if there is no space to turn and if there is he will turn and run before offloading swiftly. In this regard he has excellent acceleration and pace, better than Maddison’s, and this can cause all sorts of problems for the opposition. It’s one of the reasons he has been used out wide. Even tho Alex tends to operate further forward and not necessarily in regards to pass selection but If anything the way he moves the ball is more similar to Lo Celso than Maddison who often takes his time and dawdles on it. Baena is a far more instinctive player who likes to play fast and catch the opposition off balance before they have time to set themselves.

As for his technical ability, he’s good. I’m surprised you question that side of his game tbh. He has a good first touch and is comfortable operating in tight areas and on the half turn. He is also partial to a first time flick round the corner. He does favour his right but will use his left to push the ball onto his right, and vice versa, to shimmy past on coming defenders. In general he has quick feet but his dribbling is more practical in style then flamboyant and he doesn’t tend to use tricks bar the odd nutmeg (as one can see from one of the posts above). He isn’t a high touch dribbler but he’s adept at moving the ball swiftly between his feet and away from danger when pressured by a CB. I mean whilst in comparison he averages less dribbles per game he has an average dribble success rate of 48.1% which is better the Maddison’s 39.2%. He will also put in a cross with his left when out wide if he doesn’t have time to check back onto his right. And they aren’t hit and hope crosses ether. He will however often opt for a pass using the outside of his boot, which he is good at, rather than use his left. He tends to do this when braking in the left half space with an eye on the wide right channel.

I’ve said before I don’t like him on the wing and I stand by that because he doesn’t like being constantly isolated wide and will always look to drift inwards onto his favoured right. He also prefers to be in and around the centre of the pitch where he can influence play. But I’d certainly be more keen to play Baena wide than Maddison or Gio.

The other massive strength he has is his movement. Baena is excellent at picking up pockets of space, drifting of the shoulder of attackers and ghosting into the area. His in game intelligence and spacial awareness is excellent and he will also use his movement to make space for the strikers. He has a great dynamic with Sørloth and will often make aggressive runs across the box in order to take the attention away from the big Norwegian.

Yes La Liga is quite an open league but his movement is still excellent against the best teams. If you watch Villarreal 4-3 loss to Barca at the start of the season for example Baena was one of the best players on the pitch. Sergi Roberto and Romeu could not deal with his movement at all. He ended up with a 87% pass accuracy plus a goal and an assist but really should have finished with more.

The only issue he has in an attacking sense is sometimes his mind is too far ahead of the play and he will be trying to play too fast. As I said he runs on instinct and sometimes he just needs to slow down and be more concise rather then forcing it. You are right in that regard he needs to be more selective but that will 100% come IMO.

Personally I think he has all the natural ability, in game instinct and intelligence to be one of the top playmakers in Europe in a few years. At 22 it is little wonder he is rough around the edges and needs to work on his decision making. Yes he isn’t currently at the level of Maddison (27), Ødegaard (25) or Eze (25) but his potential is massive and even then he has more assists then all of those this season. All comps Eze (9G & 5A), Maddison (4g & 8A), Ødegaard (11g & 9A) ….. Baena (5g & 17A). I’m sure if you looked at their chances created numbers Baena wouldn’t be at the top, I think Alex is on 80 where as Ødegaard for example is closer to 100 but still, whichever way you look at it those numbers are very impressive for a 22 year old. It’s also worth noting Villarreal are a distinctly mid table team. They currently sit 9th in the league and they really aren’t having a particularly remarkable season.

Im not saying he’s perfect or without faults. His defensive skills need to be improved. He actually puts in a shift off the ball and tracks back and presses a lot, he’s just a pretty bad tackler. He has the drive and desire he just needs a lot of work in that area. This were I would say he is technically lacking. But that can be learned and I’d rather have a player that puts in a shift but can’t tackle then one who can’t be bothered but can. At least he shows desire. Also given his hight there would also be questions about the physical aspect of the PL but he’s not delicate flower like Gil. Still something that does need to be considered.

Would he come in and be a starter of the batt, probably not. He would need time to adjust so yes if one wants us to look for a starting AM then we will probably have to spend the £60+ mil on Eze. Also he’s obviously not a Florian Wirtz level player but he is well on his way to being one of the best players on the planet in a few years. Already his stats are stupid. Baena for me would be a very good hard working agile rotation/back option for Maddison but i wouldn’t be surprised if he was pushing for the starting spot come end of season.

Also I wouldn’t take Baena OVER Doué if it was a choice of one or the other. Personally I think Doué would be better as a wing option now but hypothetically if it was one or the other then I’d go for Doué as he looks like a very very rare talent indeed. I mean I’d probably make him my top target for the summer so that comparison is probably a little unfair.

In my opinion Baena has all the natural ability to be a fantastic attacking playmaker who would suit our system like a glove. No he isn’t a 18/19 year old wonderkid or a 25+ year old establishment playmaker at the top of his game. But I do think he is a very exciting prospect who whilst more developed than a Gloukh or a El Khannouss is still in a malleable stage of his career. For someone like Ange I could see him really liking the skill set he has and adapting him into a player that suits his system.

Plus in regards to price, I think there would be a very good chance we could send Gio the other way given his history there and thus us not having to pay the full release clause.

Just to add, personally I’m hoping we go for all three of Doué, Baena and Albert as I mentioned in a post above.
 
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DiVaio

Well-Known Member
May 27, 2020
4,210
17,534
Tbh 'Footballtransfer.com' 'exclusive' source is probably spurscommunity transfer forum :ROFLMAO:
This Steve Kay is completely awful source and i don't think you would even find one "exclusive" from him that wasn't rewritten from another source and came out as a true
 

TennesseeYid

Well-Known Member
Aug 4, 2017
263
878
Absolute quality player. Only question I would raise is he is probably best as a 10 and if you bring him in you need to play him and Madders together, so who goes outside?
 

fecka

Well-Known Member
Jun 24, 2013
2,380
6,617
I’m sorry bud but I’m going to disagree with you on some of this. You are right about the decision making and pass selection. He does need to learn to be more selective but he is only 22, I think you would be hard pressed to find many players under the age of 24 that don’t suffer from decision making issues.

One of the big differences between Maddison and Baena is that Alex is always looking to move the ball upfield quickly. He plays a lot of one or two touch passes if there is no space to turn and if there is he will turn and run before offloading swiftly. In this regard he has excellent acceleration and pace, better than Maddison’s, and this can cause all sorts of problems for the opposition. It’s one of the reasons he has been used out wide. Even tho Alex tends to operate further forward and not necessarily in regards to pass selection but If anything the way he moves the ball is more similar to Lo Celso than Maddison who often takes his time and dawdles on it. Baena is a far more instinctive player who likes to play fast and catch the opposition off balance before they have time to set themselves.

As for his technical ability, he’s good. I’m surprised you question that side of his game tbh. He has a good first touch and is comfortable operating in tight areas and on the half turn. He is also partial to a first time flick round the corner. He does favour his right but will use his left to push the ball onto his right, and vice versa, to shimmy past on coming defenders. In general he has quick feet but his dribbling is more practical in style then flamboyant and he doesn’t tend to use tricks bar the odd nutmeg (as one can see from one of the posts above). He isn’t a high touch dribbler but he’s adept at moving the ball swiftly between his feet and away from danger when pressured by a CB. I mean whilst in comparison he averages less dribbles per game he has an average dribble success rate of 48.1% which is better the Maddison’s 39.2%. He will also put in a cross with his left when out wide if he doesn’t have time to check back onto his right. And they aren’t hit and hope crosses ether. He will however often opt for a pass using the outside of his boot, which he is good at, rather than use his left. He tends to do this when braking in the left half space with an eye on the wide right channel.

I’ve said before I don’t like him on the wing and I stand by that because he doesn’t like being constantly isolated wide and will always look to drift inwards onto his favoured right. He also prefers to be in and around the centre of the pitch where he can influence play. But I’d certainly be more keen to play Baena wide than Maddison or Gio.

The other massive strength he has is his movement. Baena is excellent at picking up pockets of space, drifting of the shoulder of attackers and ghosting into the area. His in game intelligence and spacial awareness is excellent and he will also use his movement to make space for the strikers. He has a great dynamic with Sørloth and will often make aggressive runs across the box in order to take the attention away from the big Norwegian.

Yes La Liga is quite an open league but his movement is still excellent against the best teams. If you watch Villarreal 4-3 loss to Barca at the start of the season for example Baena was one of the best players on the pitch. Sergi Roberto and Romeu could not deal with his movement at all. He ended up with a 87% pass accuracy plus a goal and an assist but really should have finished with more.

The only issue he has in an attacking sense is sometimes his mind is too far ahead of the play and he will be trying to play too fast. As I said he runs on instinct and sometimes he just needs to slow down and be more concise rather then forcing it. You are right in that regard he needs to be more selective but that will 100% come IMO.

Personally I think he has all the natural ability, in game instinct and intelligence to be one of the top playmakers in Europe in a few years. At 22 it is little wonder he is rough around the edges and needs to work on his decision making. Yes he isn’t currently at the level of Maddison (27), Ødegaard (25) or Eze (25) but his potential is massive and even then he has more assists then all of those this season. All comps Eze (9G & 5A), Maddison (4g & 8A), Ødegaard (11g & 9A) ….. Baena (5g & 17A). I’m sure if you looked at their chances created numbers Baena wouldn’t be at the top, I think Alex is on 80 where as Ødegaard for example is closer to 100 but still, whichever way you look at it those numbers are very impressive for a 22 year old. It’s also worth noting Villarreal are a distinctly mid table team. They currently sit 9th in the league and they really aren’t having a particularly remarkable season.

Im not saying he’s perfect or without faults. His defensive skills need to be improved. He actually puts in a shift off the ball and tracks back and presses a lot, he’s just a pretty bad tackler. He has the drive and desire he just needs a lot of work in that area. This were I would say he is technically lacking. But that can be learned and I’d rather have a player that puts in a shift but can’t tackle then one who can’t be bothered but can. At least he shows desire. Also given his hight there would also be questions about the physical aspect of the PL but he’s not delicate flower like Gil. Still something that does need to be considered.

Would he come in and be a starter of the batt, probably not. He would need time to adjust so yes if one wants us to look for a starting AM then we will probably have to spend the £60+ mil on Eze. Also he’s obviously not a Florian Wirtz level player but he is well on his way to being one of the best players on the planet in a few years. Already his stats are stupid. Baena for me would be a very good hard working agile rotation/back option for Maddison but i wouldn’t be surprised if he was pushing for the starting spot come end of season.

Also I wouldn’t take Baena OVER Doué if it was a choice of one or the other. Personally I think Doué would be better as a wing option now but hypothetically if it was one or the other then I’d go for Doué as he looks like a very very rare talent indeed. I mean I’d probably make him my top target for the summer so that comparison is probably a little unfair.

In my opinion Baena has all the natural ability to be a fantastic attacking playmaker who would suit our system like a glove. No he isn’t a 18/19 year old wonderkid or a 25+ year old establishment playmaker at the top of his game. But I do think he is a very exciting prospect who whilst more developed than a Gloukh or a El Khannouss is still in a malleable stage of his career. For someone like Ange I could see him really liking the skill set he has and adapting him into a player that suits his system.

Plus in regards to price, I think there would be a very good chance we could send Gio the other way given his history there and thus us not having to pay the full release clause.

Just to add, personally I’m hoping we go for all three of Doué, Baena and Albert as I mentioned in a post above.

Man, I don't even know if it's possible to provide a good follow-up to your simply phenomenal write-ups. Please bear with me.

I certainly see and agree with many of your points comparing Maddison and Baena. It does seem like Baena is faster and a better dribbler (at least in La Liga). I still feel he's overall closer to Maddison in style than Gio, but I can certainly see where you're coming from.

Looking back I can see that my statement regarding his technical ability is a bit lazy and that I should have elaborated.
My concern regarding his technical ability is that I feel the ball often gets away from him and because of that his play generally looks a bit frantic and uncontrolled.
His instinctive nature likely contributes to the frantic appearance, and it looks like that makes him somewhat unpredictable even for his teammates (a bit similar to why I feel Bryan is such a liability). Alex sees the pass and plays it, but the quality of his delivery can be quite poor. It's like he's snatching at the pass giving it an unpredictable spin and weight, seemingly making them difficult to handle for teammates. I like that he's brave, it's a good trait, but we've seen how easily punished we can become when the margins are as small as they are in the PL. I don't find his ball striking that great either.

On the other hand, I rate movement highly and I fully agree that he's exceptional in that regard. I'd even go as far as to attribute his output mainly to that trait. Finding pockets of space and making the most of it is a talent. This alone makes him a good player.

But my question is, is he an intelligent footballer? Does he increase our chances of sustaining more pressure in the final third, or is he only efficient when the game is open and frantic?
Game intelligence can grow over time, but I feel that's already one of the main weaknesses in our squad, and as talented as Baena is, adding another player who's inconsistent with delivery, decision-making, and pass selection worries me.

He's a massive talent, but is he the one for us? There's just something about him that I can't fully place, that makes me doubt his chances of success at Spurs.
Like you, I feel Doué has a significantly higher ceiling and I'd have much greater confidence in him succeeding.
 
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felmani26

SC Supporter
Jan 1, 2008
25,000
45,207


First mention of this in the media, big shoutout to @What Lies Beneath for giving us the insight much earlier

Is there not sufficient difference actually between CAA Base - which this article is crediting Eze's representation - to CAA Stellar to which Baena is under?

My understanding is that Jonathan Barnett represents Stellar and nothing to do with Base which is who we've got strong affiliation with (Maddison, Son, Porro et al).
 

fecka

Well-Known Member
Jun 24, 2013
2,380
6,617
Is there not sufficient difference actually between CAA Base - which this article is crediting Eze's representation - to CAA Stellar to which Baena is under?

My understanding is that Jonathan Barnett represents Stellar and nothing to do with Base which is who we've got strong affiliation with (Maddison, Son, Porro et al).
From what I understand, both are part of CAA Sports. Base is the one we've recently had a good relationship with IIRC, but historically I believe we've also had a close relationship with Barnett (Bale, no?) and Stellar.
Feel like @Trix would know for sure though.
 

felmani26

SC Supporter
Jan 1, 2008
25,000
45,207
From what I understand, both are part of CAA Sports. Base is the one we've recently had a good relationship with IIRC, but historically I believe we've also had a close relationship with Barnett (Bale, no?) and Stellar.
Feel like @Trix would know for sure though.
Oh clearly there's some group structure but just wonder if the relationship we have with Frank Trimboli (Base) is materially separate to that of Barnett (Stellar).
 

Trix

Well-Known Member
Jul 29, 2004
20,265
338,807
Oh clearly there's some group structure but just wonder if the relationship we have with Frank Trimboli (Base) is materially separate to that of Barnett (Stellar).
Separate, but close to both, but there is certainly an overlap though.
 
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mill

Well-Known Member
May 21, 2007
10,481
37,427
I’m sure I read Jonathan Barnett retired, that tweet said his agent is Joshua Barnett, his son I guess???
 

RJR1949

Well-Known Member
Jan 31, 2013
1,008
5,759
I’m sorry bud but I’m going to disagree with you on some of this. You are right about the decision making and pass selection. He does need to learn to be more selective but he is only 22, I think you would be hard pressed to find many players under the age of 24 that don’t suffer from decision making issues.

One of the big differences between Maddison and Baena is that Alex is always looking to move the ball upfield quickly. He plays a lot of one or two touch passes if there is no space to turn and if there is he will turn and run before offloading swiftly. In this regard he has excellent acceleration and pace, better than Maddison’s, and this can cause all sorts of problems for the opposition. It’s one of the reasons he has been used out wide. Even tho Alex tends to operate further forward and not necessarily in regards to pass selection but If anything the way he moves the ball is more similar to Lo Celso than Maddison who often takes his time and dawdles on it. Baena is a far more instinctive player who likes to play fast and catch the opposition off balance before they have time to set themselves.

As for his technical ability, he’s good. I’m surprised you question that side of his game tbh. He has a good first touch and is comfortable operating in tight areas and on the half turn. He is also partial to a first time flick round the corner. He does favour his right but will use his left to push the ball onto his right, and vice versa, to shimmy past on coming defenders. In general he has quick feet but his dribbling is more practical in style then flamboyant and he doesn’t tend to use tricks bar the odd nutmeg (as one can see from one of the posts above). He isn’t a high touch dribbler but he’s adept at moving the ball swiftly between his feet and away from danger when pressured by a CB. I mean whilst in comparison he averages less dribbles per game he has an average dribble success rate of 48.1% which is better the Maddison’s 39.2%. He will also put in a cross with his left when out wide if he doesn’t have time to check back onto his right. And they aren’t hit and hope crosses ether. He will however often opt for a pass using the outside of his boot, which he is good at, rather than use his left. He tends to do this when braking in the left half space with an eye on the wide right channel.

I’ve said before I don’t like him on the wing and I stand by that because he doesn’t like being constantly isolated wide and will always look to drift inwards onto his favoured right. He also prefers to be in and around the centre of the pitch where he can influence play. But I’d certainly be more keen to play Baena wide than Maddison or Gio.

The other massive strength he has is his movement. Baena is excellent at picking up pockets of space, drifting of the shoulder of attackers and ghosting into the area. His in game intelligence and spacial awareness is excellent and he will also use his movement to make space for the strikers. He has a great dynamic with Sørloth and will often make aggressive runs across the box in order to take the attention away from the big Norwegian.

Yes La Liga is quite an open league but his movement is still excellent against the best teams. If you watch Villarreal 4-3 loss to Barca at the start of the season for example Baena was one of the best players on the pitch. Sergi Roberto and Romeu could not deal with his movement at all. He ended up with a 87% pass accuracy plus a goal and an assist but really should have finished with more.

The only issue he has in an attacking sense is sometimes his mind is too far ahead of the play and he will be trying to play too fast. As I said he runs on instinct and sometimes he just needs to slow down and be more concise rather then forcing it. You are right in that regard he needs to be more selective but that will 100% come IMO.

Personally I think he has all the natural ability, in game instinct and intelligence to be one of the top playmakers in Europe in a few years. At 22 it is little wonder he is rough around the edges and needs to work on his decision making. Yes he isn’t currently at the level of Maddison (27), Ødegaard (25) or Eze (25) but his potential is massive and even then he has more assists then all of those this season. All comps Eze (9G & 5A), Maddison (4g & 8A), Ødegaard (11g & 9A) ….. Baena (5g & 17A). I’m sure if you looked at their chances created numbers Baena wouldn’t be at the top, I think Alex is on 80 where as Ødegaard for example is closer to 100 but still, whichever way you look at it those numbers are very impressive for a 22 year old. It’s also worth noting Villarreal are a distinctly mid table team. They currently sit 9th in the league and they really aren’t having a particularly remarkable season.

Im not saying he’s perfect or without faults. His defensive skills need to be improved. He actually puts in a shift off the ball and tracks back and presses a lot, he’s just a pretty bad tackler. He has the drive and desire he just needs a lot of work in that area. This were I would say he is technically lacking. But that can be learned and I’d rather have a player that puts in a shift but can’t tackle then one who can’t be bothered but can. At least he shows desire. Also given his hight there would also be questions about the physical aspect of the PL but he’s not delicate flower like Gil. Still something that does need to be considered.

Would he come in and be a starter of the batt, probably not. He would need time to adjust so yes if one wants us to look for a starting AM then we will probably have to spend the £60+ mil on Eze. Also he’s obviously not a Florian Wirtz level player but he is well on his way to being one of the best players on the planet in a few years. Already his stats are stupid. Baena for me would be a very good hard working agile rotation/back option for Maddison but i wouldn’t be surprised if he was pushing for the starting spot come end of season.

Also I wouldn’t take Baena OVER Doué if it was a choice of one or the other. Personally I think Doué would be better as a wing option now but hypothetically if it was one or the other then I’d go for Doué as he looks like a very very rare talent indeed. I mean I’d probably make him my top target for the summer so that comparison is probably a little unfair.

In my opinion Baena has all the natural ability to be a fantastic attacking playmaker who would suit our system like a glove. No he isn’t a 18/19 year old wonderkid or a 25+ year old establishment playmaker at the top of his game. But I do think he is a very exciting prospect who whilst more developed than a Gloukh or a El Khannouss is still in a malleable stage of his career. For someone like Ange I could see him really liking the skill set he has and adapting him into a player that suits his system.

Plus in regards to price, I think there would be a very good chance we could send Gio the other way given his history there and thus us not having to pay the full release clause.

Just to add, personally I’m hoping we go for all three of Doué, Baena and Albert as I mentioned in a post above.
I’m in awe of your knowledge of all these players and the depth and incisiveness of your analysis.

Thanks.
 

Guntz

Loves a good meme/gif
Aug 15, 2011
7,539
56,059
Looks like a quality player, but I would be worried on how he would adapt to the Prem.
 
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