Alba hopes for more match time under Valverde

Barca fullback Jordi Alba is looking forward to he tenure of new coach Ernesto Valverde, who he believes will provide him with more opportunities on the pitch.

Valverde took over managerial duties of the La Liga runners-up following the departure of Luis Enrique at the end of the past season and was the man responsible for transforming former club Athletic Bilbao from perennial mid-tablers to a team that regularly challenges for a top six finish.

The 53-year old will no doubt be expected to oversee the Catalan club's continued dominance of domestic and European competitions, something Alba is confident he will be able to do.

“I am very happy," the Spain international said in an interview with Marca.

"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," he continued.

"I asked my friends who have had him about him and they spoke very well of him."

Th 28-year old, who found himself in the Barca starting XI on only 21 occasions in the club's last La Liga campaign, added that he believes he was not given the opportunities he needed to play at his best under the previous manager, hinting that he expects to be a more frequent starter under Valverde.

"What’s clear is that it will be better for me than with Luis Enrique," he said. "I didn’t have the minutes I wanted to, but I hope that this goes better for me.

"I’m excited about the new coach.”