In his first squad as national team coach, Enrique opted to overlook Euro 2012 winner Alba and recall Chelsea’s Marcos Alonso and Valencia’s Jose Luis Gaya instead.
According to Sport, Enrique has doubts over Alba’s attitude and is said to believe that leaving him out of the September squad will serve to give the player a jolt and motivate him to work harder in order to return to the fold.
Having emerged as one of the world’s best full-backs, Alba won a La Liga, Copa del Rey and Champions League treble under Enrique in the 2014/15 season. But he appeared to fall out of favour during Enrique’s final season in charge of Barça in 2016/17.
That campaign often saw Alba left on the bench, starting only 21 times in La Liga. He also sat on the bench for the historic Champions League comeback against Paris Saint-Germain and missed the first leg of the next round of the competition against Juventus as well.
With further international breaks for UEFA Nations League action coming in October and November, Sport predicts that Alba will be back in the Spanish squad sooner rather than later.
The report doesn’t rule out Enrique keeping up the banishment until the international break in March of next year, but suggests it is unlikely that Alba will be out of the picture for that long.