Grimaldo among the surprise options for Spain's World Cup squad

Lopetegui is looking for a backup for Jordi Alba

The former Barça man could come into contention

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The left-back position in the Spain team has an owner: Jordi Alba. However, there are a number of players vying to be the Barcelona man's understudy at this summer's World Cup in Russia.

Jordi Gil

@jordigil

One of the candidates is former Barça youngster Alejandro Grimaldo, who is impressing at Benfica. Grimaldo missed the last U21 European Championships due to an injury, but he's a player that has been followed by Spain coach Julen Lopetegui's staff. 

The competition is tough and Nacho Monreal (Arsenal) is the favourite due to his ability to play at centre-back, too. Other names in the running are José Luis Gayà (Valencia) and Yury Berchiche (PSG), who has ruled out playing for Algeria.

Longer shots include Alberto Moreno (Liverpool), who has had injury problems recently, and Marcos Alonso (Chelsea). 

Grimaldo has now played over 50 games since joining Benfica. His performances have led to interest from various European clubs, above all Napoli. Barça reserve 10 percent of the fee of any future sale. 

WORLD CUP LONG SHOTS 

Lopetegui may name a few surprises in his World Cup squad later this year. Grimaldo could be one of them, but there are others who may make a late surge... 

Sarabia (Sevilla)

Pablo Sarabia has scored three goals in his last four league games and is proving key for Sevilla, who have reached the Copa del Rey final and are still in the fight for Europe in La Liga. 

Deulofeu (Watford)

Lopetegui is a known fan of Gerard Deulofeu and if the winger can play regularly and do well on loan at Watford, he could make the World Cup squad. He has already started three Premier League games for his new club, scoring one goal. 

Aduriz (Athletic Club)

Athletic Club are having a tough season and are struggling for form. It's affecting Aduriz and could dent his hopes of going to the World Cup -- he appeared frustrated in the recent goalless draw with Las Palmas. 

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