Barcelona’s legendary La Masia training academy had failed to produce exceptional young footballing talents in recent years until the explosive emergence of Ansu Fati in the senior team last season. He has broken through the ranks of Barcelona’s academy in the most unconventional, almost legendary manner. Since making his first-team debut for Barcelona last season, Ansu Fati has mesmerized fans and created a genuine buzz with his impressive performances. In his short time with the Barcelona first team, the youngster has established himself as one of the numerous standout players in the current squad.
Ansu Fati joined Barcelona’s La Masia in 2012, at the age of 10, and signed his first professional contract with the club in 2019, which runs until 2022. He has quickly attracted everyone’s attention and is already touted by many as the next big thing for Barcelona.
Many football pundits have touted Fati as the most exciting young prospect in European football with the world at his feet. Despite his young age, Ansu Fati has a big personality and no fear to prove himself on the big stage against some of the biggest clubs in Europe.
How unique is Ansu Fati?
At age 16, Fati made a jump from the Juvenile A to the first team in no time under former boss Ernesto Valverde in the 2019/20 season due to injuries to Luis Suarez and Dembele. The injuries to these crucial first-team players proved to be a blessing in disguise as the teenager quickly announced himself to the footballing world with a bang. In just a season, Fati has broken a lot of records in Barcelona. He is the youngest player ever to start a game for the Catalan giants at the Camp Nou.
Fati also became the youngest player to grab a goal and an assist from a single game in the history of La Liga.
He is also the third-youngest goalscorer in the history of Spain’s top-flight behind Fabrice Olinga and Iker Munian. Fati also became the youngest Champions League debutant for Barcelona in a goalless draw away against Borussia Dortmund, breaking the previous record held by Borjan Krkic. He also became the youngest player in history to score a UEFA Champions League goal against Inter Millan at the Giuseppe Meaza stadium. Fati is deeply exciting and blessed with pace and skills with his feet. He also excels at taking on defenders as he likes to cut inside and attempt one on one. He also possesses the ability to play and score either foot and produce incredible short passes.
He is also capable of playing in all of the attacking positions. Ansu Fati can play as a striker and a number ten. He also thrives in both the right and left flank, but his preferred position is the left flank. His versatility is impressive for a player who is still a teenager. The only problem he has in his game is that he lacks the physicality to impose himself on opponents. However, it is the least concerned area of his game as he makes it up with his blistering pace and natural gift. On the pitch, Fati always gets involved in the build-up play and can shot from any range. He averages 1.3 shots per game, 82% pass accuracy, and has scored five times and assisted once so far this season, which is very impressive for the teenager. While he is still raw, he has shown that he can produce moments of magic and make a significant contribution to the Barcelona team so far this season.
What next for Fati?
In the past, there have been previous young debutants for Barcelona who have struggled to live up to the hype as potential successors of Messi.
The likes of Borjan Krkic, Isaac Cuenca, Adama Traore, Marc Muniesa, Gerard Deulofeu, and Christian Tello all made quick departures from the club despite encouraging starts. To avoid that problem with Fati, Quique Setien needs to manage Fati very well for him to not become just a flash in the pan. Fati still has a lot of years ahead for him to develop, mature, and establish himself as a world-class player.
However, the main question is whether that process will happen quickly for him. Some fans believe that a loan move might help him to develop well. Others are also of the view that a loan move would be a bad idea and might affect his career since he is still young. At the moment, there’s no doubt that the teenager is already one of the hottest young players not only in Spain but across Europe. He is also the newest gem from La Masia, who could become a Barcelona legend someday.