Ansu Fati: The One Barcelona Cannot Afford to Get Wrong

Ansu Fati

So many have graced the famous La Masia academy over the years; so many legends have departed having left long-lasting legacies which first started in front of the on watching youth coaches in Barcelona. 

Yet, admittedly, before the sudden, and perhaps unforeseen, rise of 17-year-old Ansu Fati, it had been far too long since a player really caught the eye of the coaches who previously had the privilege of moulding the likes of Andreas Iniesta and, perhaps the greatest of all, Lionel Messi.

Several players showed glimpses rather than the desired glimmer needed to step into the future of the La Liga giants. Adama Traore, Gerard Deulofeu, and even the now heavily featured, yet rarely starring, Sergi Roberto have all attempted to take a seat at the table of players to eventually do the impossible and replace Lionel Messi’s place as a La Masia great. 

But, reiterating the almost impossible task, all have failed. So in came Ansu Fati: The 17-year-old star out of nowhere to stake his candidacy to replace who many believe to be irreplaceable in Messi. 

Though, let’s face facts, the list of candidacies is not a long one and Fati is top of it. With Messi only nearing closer to a Barcelona end, too, and his line of replacements not exactly long, Barcelona must get it right with Ansu Fati should he eventually take the burden carried by the shoulders of Messi for what seems like forever.

Barcelona Can’t Afford to Get It Wrong With Ansu Fati

Too Soon to Be Messi’s Replacement 

Whilst the expectations won’t be for Fati to exceed the legend that is Lionel Messi because let’s face it, there isn’t another player on the planet capable of reproducing the Argentine’s career at this current moment in time.

Instead, the hope will be to finally see a La Masia star shine bright on the biggest stage once more; to see the Barcelona future given hope once again, and to see the torch finally passed from Messi’s slowly, but surely, burning grasp.

At 17, the pressure is probably left better off away from the Spanish star, who has yet to reach adulthood, but as the awards come, so will the added expectation and hope. 

As the records arrive and that all too familiar glimmer begins to shine, last seen spread through La Masia’s famous past, Ansu Fati’s trajectory towards stardom should take its course if, and this is an important if, Barcelona can steady the ship off and on the pitch in time. 

For the time being, they are in rebuild mode; Lionel Messi looks closer to the door than ever, and a 17-year-old is the one laying down a marker to replace him. The problem is, however, once Messi departs, so does Fati’s all-important mentor.

For now, the burden is placed on Messi. Once he leaves, though, the Nou Camp will be searching for a new hero. But 17-year-old Ansu Fati, perhaps the only player capable of eventually fulfilling that role, will not be ready to take centre stage. 

Barcelona Must Get Ansu Fati’s Development Right

Financially, Barcelona are in no position to progress. On the pitch, players are ageing. Off the pitch, arguments in the boardroom always seem to be brewing. The fact of the matter is, one more wrong turn and Barcelona’s time as one of Europe’s elite could vanish. 

Lionel Messi arrived from La Masia before to play the role of saviour and aid Barcelona’s taking of the Spanish throne. Now they must turn to Ansu Fati to keep a hold of it before it is too late. They cannot afford to buy their way out of trouble; even then, their recruitment is too poor to signal improvement.

So it is La Masia once again, and the Spanish giants must get this one right. Should they fail Fati in his development, a Barcelona star will be hard to come by, and the Nou Camp will undoubtedly fall away, perhaps as drastically as a once-great AC Milan side once did at the San Siro.

With one La Liga Player of the Month award to his name already, though, following three goals and one assist, Fati looks set to become a much-needed star from the academy at Barcelona.

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