At the end of a season which has been, frankly, diabolical in just about every way, let’s twist the narrative and look ahead with optimism.
Why? Ansu Fati.
The youngster has been a beacon of hope for culers ever since he forced his way into the first team picture, and it’s only right that he should be rewarded with a new contract and much increased buyout clause.
It’s wrong to christen him - and anyone else - as the ‘new Messi,’ but such is the desire to anoint another King of the Camp Nou, it’s almost understandable.
Criticised by some as being a little lightweight in certain areas of his play is to overlook what he’s brought into the team, and lest we forget at just 17 years of age.
A youngster who is fully in tune with Barca’s DNA and what’s expected of him in the role which he’s asked to play.
An eye for goal that will only sharpen with experience and a style of play that is totally lacking in fear. Youthful exuberance and all that.
Rather than looking to tear him down at the earliest opportunity, culers would do well to have a clearer understanding of what he brings, and will bring, to the side over the coming years.
There are genuine reasons for Barca fans to be very excited about Ansu’s development.
After so many ‘near misses’ from La Masia which leaves us now looking at many clubs across Europe having a Barca representation of sorts, Ansu is here to stay and the Blaugranes will be much the richer for it.
Though he can never and will never replace Messi, the way in which the Argentinian has taken him under his wing is notable.
Ronaldinho did exactly the same thing with Leo at not a dissimilar point in his career, and that marked the proverbial passing of the baton.
We’re a little way away from that as far as Ansu is concerned, but we can be in little doubt that Messi’s ‘endorsement’ says much about how the youngster is viewed at the club.
Once the Champions League is out of the way, whenever that happens to be, let’s look forward and not back.
With over half a season at the top level in the bank and a new deal which confirms him as a permanent member of the first team, the football world is Ansu Fati’s oyster...