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Ansu Fati: Barcelona’s Beacon of Potential?

Ansu Fati made a name for himself in Barcelona's first few games of the new season. Where will this sixteen year old go from here, now that he's impressed viewers with his recent performances?

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Last updated: 12.10.2019
Ansu Fati: Barcelona’s Beacon of Potential? | Sports Social Blog

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It’s practically official at this point that while Leo Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are football’s poster children, most of the shots are being called by teenage talent. Investment on teenage players has reached ridiculous heights. The most expensive transfer of the most recent window was Joao Felix, the 19-year-old from Benfica. There was also the well-received and highly publicized signing of Rodrygo by Real Madrid. It’s basic knowledge teams are getting more and more serious about buying young players as the days go by, and nobody can blame them, especially after Kylian Mbappe dazzled everyone in the 2018 World Cup.

 

Another teenager who has made quite the racket (in a good sense for sure) this season has been Ansu Fati. The 16-year old has graduated from the Barca youth team into the Big Leagues and he didn’t let his debut go to waste. The winger has already scored 2 goals and 1 assist. He scored in the 5-2 win and the 2-2 draw against Real Betis and Osasuna respectively. Suffice it to say he is skilled and the scouts and big-name clubs will definitely keep an eye on him.

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Talent on display:



The youngster from Guinea Bissau is not short of mettle for sure. He plays with a great sense of hunger combined with an equally sharp sense of awareness. Fati’s dribbling is quick and it matches well with his pace and ball control. This helps him to an immense degree in the wing where he’s on the edge and the play requires a darting run from him. His crossing is good as is his passing. His vision and intelligence has helped him spot players many a time despite being clogged by defensive players on the left edge. Despite not being a towering player, his aerial presence is good and he has even scored a header so far. He has been seen to incorporate skill moves like feints, step-overs and 1-2’s into his game but rarely at the cost of the offensive play, showing his great sense of priority and teamwork.

 

So far he has scored 2 goals and 1 assist. He manages 1.4 shots per game and 1.4 dribbles. That amount is particularly impressive considering he’s only played 1 full game. His passing has been decent as well considering the 82.6% passing accuracy which is all the more impressive considering the amount of risk-based plays that he has had to orchestrate along the left-wing.

 

Future role:



Ansu Fati is 16 and while he received some chances this time, regular appearances should not be expected. His age is too young to make him somewhat of a regular face, even as a substitute, especially considering the amount of great players Barca has on offence. It’s hard enough to find time for all of Suarez, Dembele, Messi and Griezmann to play. Fati can get some playtime if Messi gets injured further or is rested for UCL or more important games, which is more than likely to happen.

 

Loaning out is a strong possibility. Clubs like Real Sociedad(especially because of Odegaard) might be tempted and it might seem especially favourably given how well Odegaard from Real Madrid is performing there. He could also be loaned out to clubs and leagues outside of Spain. England has been known to provide strong competition and mold younger players so a move to a top 6 English side other than Manchester City (because of constant rotations, even among veterans) is highly possible. He could learn to get past the defence better in Italy on strengthening his attack in France. The options are endless and so will be the demand, given his showing so far. Of course, there’s the small chance of big bids for transfers and potential buy-out clause activating deals by the likes of big wigs like Man City, Real Madrid, PSG and Man United to name a few. 

 

Down the line, it would be surprising if he doesn’t play for Barca in a more prominent role, especially in his 20’s. Barcelona had a rough patch in the starting weeks of La Liga but Fati seemed to be a gem that they discovered amidst the rough patch, very similar to what Real Madrid had with Brahim Diaz. You can picture him taking over in the left wing for a player like Luis Suarez or more of a Central Attacker like Griezmann. While whether he will reach the level of Suarez is far from confirmed, you honestly couldn’t ask for a better start from a guy who is just 16 years old. While we all know the dangers of decreeing someone as the next ‘Football God’ or something similar, it’s also a fact that he’s showing a lot of promise. While nothing is guaranteed, people will expect big things and great football from the 16-year old who made himself known in just a few weeks in the Barcelona Senior Team.

 

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