FC Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez has once again been tasked with the ever-so-impeding questions regarding out-of-form and out-of-favor winger Ansu Fati. Donning the fabled number 10 jersey at FC Barcelona, the player has seen a decline in form following a plethora of varying injuries.
A discontinued amount of game time, loss of match fitness, and rhythm itself have all accumulated in depriving the youngster of that once so-merited talent and efficiency that made him a potential star of the future. Now, aged 20, he arguably only retains the first attribute: his proven quality.
When asked about the level of the youngster, compared to the now in-form Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford and his impressive goal tally by the reporter, and what his actual potential dictates, Xavi had the following to say in his pre-match press conference:
“Ansu has the ability and he needs confidence. His performance will determine his development in the club. He has been important and we have high hopes for him.”
Fati has had a rather turbulent set of proceedings this season for FC Barcelona in terms of form, having scored 6 goals and 3 assists in his squad high of 31 appearances, being the only player amongst all those within the Barcelona locker room to appear in all 31 games, albeit sparingly as a substitute in many. FC Barcelona did not, however, make use of his services when pitted up against their latest La Liga opponents in Villarreal, bringing an end to his streak of continuous appearances.
The player is now expected to hold somewhat of a more integral role going forward, however. With both Gavi suspended and Pedri injured from the second leg Europa League tie against Manchester United, the forward may find himself to be amongst the primary candidates to be sorted into the starting eleven once the Catalans make their trip to Old Trafford.
He may also find himself amongst those selected for FC Barcelona’s upcoming La Liga clash against Cadiz, given that Xavi might opt to consider rotations within his squad based on the level of their consequent opponents.