Ansu Fati – Reviving Blaugrana glory – one last shot

We witnessed a pure gem in Ansu Fati when he first broke onto the scene in 2019 at just 16-years-old, touted as the heir to Messi – an impressive talent with the world at his feet, and then came the season-ending injury.

Before his injury, Ansu Fati was phenomenal, becoming Barcelona’s youngest La Liga and UEFA Champions League goal scorer. He also held the record for the youngest goal scorer with the Spanish national team before the emergence of another La Masia talent in Lamine Yamal, who has now broken the above records except in the Champions League.

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Ansu Fati was projected as the best wonderkid, winning’s NXGN in 2021, also topping the likes of Pedri, Jude Bellingham, Jamal Musiala, and Florian Wirtz, who suffered a similar fate as Fati but has turned it around to become one of the best players in the world.

Samuel Eto’o in 2021:

I think (Ansu) Fati is one for the future. He’s currently doing amazing stuff.

Three hundred and five days after a grotesque meniscus tear and a couple more injuries, Ansu Fati has been unable to replicate the form he once showed that got him his shine. Such recurring injuries, alongside the recuperation time from each injury, do take their toll on players, causing players not to believe and doubt their ability, hindering players from returning to the footballing level they are capable of. The same is evident with Ansu Fati – unable to go past his man like he used to as a left-winger, losing a bit of the pace and energy associated with him, causing him to be more cautious in his play.

Ansu Fati’s inability to replicate his pre-injury form saw him move to Brighton & Hove Albion on a season-long loan spell in search of regular playing time and to build his confidence. His stint at Brighton became tainted by injuries as soon as his form gained momentum, coming off the bench more often than not. His situation has appeared to be more of a psychological problem than a fitness problem that made him not trust his body even after a change of position – bringing him to play behind the striker utilizing other aspects of his game.

One last push

As he returns to Barcelona, he will have what seems to be a final chance to change the mind of the Barcelona hierarchy after the appointment of Hansi Flick as the new manager. He has the opportunity for a fresh start. He would be judged on how well he performs for Barcelona in the 2024/25 preseason games, as reports suggest that he could be on his way out of the club if he fails to impress. However, there is a need for calm concerning his situation. He would need to reintegrate himself into the team. Being one of the hardest workers in the squad could go a long way in gaining the trust of the new manager and helping him fulfil his potential.

Flick’s man management would be crucial in Ansu Fati’s journey to regaining his match sharpness, carefully integrating him and instilling confidence in Fati. Hansi Flick’s guidance would help him develop and regain his confidence.

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Hansi Flick at Bayern used a 4-2-3-1 formation with a number 10 like Thomas Muller playing behind the striker, constantly linking with the striker and laying off passes. Ansu Fati could be used in such a role in the centre, getting him closer to the box and using his finishing abilities. Ansu Fati could also play on the left as an inverted winger, allowing him to tuck in to create chances as the wingback overlaps, leaving him in the left half-space where he is most effective.

Several Barcelona fans have moved on from Ansu Fati, favouring Lamine Yamal. If Fati is to make a comeback to the player he once was and even develop further, he would need all the help he can get from the fans – getting behind their homegrown talent and believing he can be a crucial piece of the team. As rivals Real Madrid continue to strengthen and build a new team of Galacticos, Barcelona needs quality players to match them if they are to lay claim to being the best in Spain. Fati could be a crucial piece of the jigsaw, regaining his position as Barcelona’s golden boy.

Ansu Fati:

My plan is clear. I want to succeed at Barcelona.

I once thought to myself – ‘This kid would be the youngest to win the Ballon d’Or’. Barcelona probably thought the same when he was handed the number 10 jersey after Messi’s departure, affirming how highly rated he was. If his progression before his injury is anything to go by, he has the potential to mark an era at Barcelona and could be crucial for Barcelona’s future success.

Ansu Fati can be integral for Barcelona. He has the talent and the skills to deliver when the stakes are high, and I still believe in the Ballon d’Or dream.

The Author

Boluwatife Adenusi

Boluwatife Adenusi is a young football writer with a dynamic insight and a love for the beautiful game. With a fresh perspective and a genuine love for the game, Boluwatife is eager to share his insights and observations with fellow football enthusiasts. Boluwatife's writing showcases a natural talent for storytelling, bringing readers an insight into culture and tactics. Follow Boluwatife Adenusi on BackPage Football for his insights on football as it is meant to be.

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