The young pearlcule continues without a shine, despite the good overall tone of the Barcelona team
The best version of Ansu Fati will have to wait. That is the main conclusion drawn from the first part of the season before the break of the national team. The young culé gem, just 19 years old, has failed to secure a place among the eleven in Xavi’s new project and his role in the Barça team has become that of a supporting actor. Against Elche, despite it being a rotational match, he started the game already seen as a penalty and missed on three clear occasions.
Patience, patience and more patience. That is the speech that has become a constant at Ansu Fati since he returned from injury in the second half of last season. The ’10’ culé chose to avoid the operating room to return to the elite as soon as possible, a decision that entailed a return before the course was completed and a set-up that was to make this his year, that with the big come out for the World Cup in Qatar. That goal is not being achieved today. Ansu has only started once and has only played 225 minutes of the 720 his team played between the League and the Champions League. Figures typical of a second-rate player, far removed from the lead role he seemed to be playing in the new project.
The reality of Ansu Fati at the moment is what characterizes a Xavi who has insisted on carrying with him a conservative plan for the future. «I see him well. I spoke to him and I see him happy. He joins in and he goes inside. He’s had a few occasions. We have a plan with him, it will be important for the team, I have no doubts about it,” assured Tarrasa’s coach after his team’s comfortable victory against Elche 3-0. A few minutes earlier, Ansu had enjoyed half an hour against a fractured rival, with one less player and in an environment conducive to exploiting all his qualities. Pedri gave him two Golden Balls against Édgar Badía and the ’10’ culé failed to define with the success of yesteryear, much to the frustration of a Camp Nou still waiting for its best version.
Those missed opportunities add to the lack of confidence that is typical of a player who has left an ordeal of injury. Ansu has missed nearly two years due to physical problems and upon his return has found a team that has multiplied his assault weapons exponentially. Raphinha, Dembele, Lewandowski, Ferran Torres and even Memphis Depay, who shone against Elche, are relentless competition for a footballer who is still struggling to find his best version. At Barca, they are waiting for that unbalanced striker who stunned Europe and the player himself still hopes to earn a place in a side that is getting more and more expensive to enter.
The other frustration surrounding Ansu Fati at the moment is the battle against the clock to be at the World Cup in Qatar. Luis Enrique released a list of those called up this week, the latest before the appointment, in which the player is once again out, despite having already put the ordeal of injury behind him. “He has only played one starting game for his club and this tells me something. Hopefully we will see the best Ansu again, but today I don’t see him for the list. He is working on gaining confidence and improving after a long time not too much have played,” said the coach, knowing that there is still a considerable distance between today’s Ansu and the one that was unquestionable to him not so long ago.
Source: La Verdad