What a spectacular performance from Ansu Fati against Valencia!
As a Cule first and foremost, I’m delighted for the young man who, by all accounts, is extremely popular in the first-team dressing room.
Once again showing no fear or regard for the opposition, there was evident joy in every facet of his play, mirrored in the Camp Nou stands as the Blaugrana faithful knelt at his altar.
The morning after the night before... pic.twitter.com/vJ8R67wxvj— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) September 15, 2019
However, let’s not rush to deify him just yet.
I’m sure we all would love him to become a household name in due course, but he has to be allowed to develop at his own pace.
Comparisons to Lionel Messi, which were scattered across social media on Saturday night, are not just unhelpful, they’re plain wrong.
Since Bojan Krkic came onto the scene some years ago, there’s been a rush to christen any youngster as the next big thing, and in many cases the weight of expectation has proved a cumbersome burden.
Jean Marie Dongou, Munir El Haddadi, Sandro, Gerard Deulofeu... the first team has been littered with youngsters who had the world at their feet but soon disappeared into the background.
Ansu Fati needed 3 La Liga games to score his first 2 goals.— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) September 14, 2019
Lionel Messi needed 13 games. pic.twitter.com/36nNAqnm9b
I’m not suggesting that the same will necessarily happen with Ansu, far from it in fact, but I don’t think a reality check is a bad thing at this point.
Once Leo is back from injury, then the likelihood of the youngster getting the minutes he needs or wants, will be scaled back.
With Ernesto Valverde as coach, there will never be an element of risk taken. Ansu got his break last night because the stars aligned to allow him to do so.
To believe he will dislodge any one of Messi, Luis Suarez or Antoine Griezmann on a regular basis is, frankly, nonsense.
However, I do want to see more of this kid.
16-year-old Ansu Fati became the youngest player in La Liga history to have a goal and an assist in the same game.— B/R Football (@brfootball) September 15, 2019
And it only took him seven minutes ⚡ pic.twitter.com/KJa7UsBA03
The spontaneity in his play was what stood out in his 60 minute cameo. If the shot was there to be taken on, he didn’t once mess about. On another night, he could’ve easily ended the game with a hat-trick.
His associative play was excellent too. Simple, clean passes when needed, or intelligent movement off of the ball. That he frightened the life out of more experienced professionals too, tells us everything.
But we mustn’t get carried away.
That’s not the voice of doom either. There just needs to be a note of caution sounded at this stage.
Let him breathe, let him work and, fingers crossed, we’ll be singing his name for years to come.