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Patience with Ansu Fati

Memphis Depay’s injury opens the door for him to get more minutes in October, but the club are not going to force him, aware that he is not yet at 100%.

Patience with Ansu Fati
Soccrates ImagesGetty

“The training sessions help a lot to gauge the state of the player, but where you really evaluate where each player is in the matches and this is where Ansu is still not at 100%”. This is how transparent a member of the Barça staff is when AS asks him about Ansu Fati’s current state. The young forward, who has been training with the squad for more than five months, still hasn’t found his feet. He is not the same player that starred three years ago, with impressive, record-breaking appearances wherever he played.

Ever since he suffered a serious knee injury against Betis two years ago, Fati’s career has been a descent into hell, aggravated by multiple injuries. He underwent four operations, and suffered a hamstring tear just under a year ago, which ultimately derailed his return to the field of play.

Left out of Spain squad

Since his release from hospital at the beginning of May, everything has gone very slowly for Ansu, perhaps too slowly. Luis Enrique’s call-up this summer was an incentive, but it has ended up being more of a gesture to the gallery than anything else as he did not play a single minute with La Roja and was not called into the latest Spain squad.

This season, Fati is appearing in dribs and drabs, making only one start, against Viktoria Plzen. When he does take the field, his actions are not accompanied by the power and speed that he once had.

“His speed and power values are normal, but it is true that he lacks that spark. He gives the feeling that he is playing with the handbrake”, they say inside the dressing room. The fact is that the head is also part of the gear to get out of the hole, and sometimes it is the most difficult to ‘reset’.

Doubt for World Cup

Now it is too late to look back and reflect on whether or not his decision to ‘dodge’ surgery on his last injury was the right one. The Blaugrana doctors encouraged him to undergo surgery and both Ansu and his entourage were very reluctant from the beginning, backed by a lack of consensus among the specialists consulted. In any case, the consequences are now to be borne.

Fati, aware that he has been stagnating for a long time now, has turned to his physiotherapist, Joaquín Juan Sandá, to try to take a step forward in his definitive fitness. The World Cup is also just around the corner and Ansu knows that he is about to miss the train if he doesn’t wake up.

The month of October is a unique opportunity for him. The injury to Memphis, who will be out for a month, and the accumulation of games this month, can open up more starts for him. He also presents himself as the best alternative to Robert Lewandowski in the centre forward position. There is no doubt that a good game could be the definitive spark for Fati to get back on track with Ansu.


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