Maybe Ronald Koeman should stay away from the Barcelona bench more often!
In all seriousness, this is the type of performance that all culers have been crying out for. Let’s not even dwell on the fact that Levante are usually the most accommodating of opponents at Camp Nou.
Paco Lopez has had the measure of the blaugranes of late, but his side were well beaten on Sunday afternoon.
It was three but it so easily could’ve been six or seven.
The icing on the cake was Ansu delivering on his long-awaited return. Still just 18 years of age, and with incredible pressure on his young shoulders, he took just a few minutes to send the faithful into orbit.
Ansu Fati is BACK!— Premier Sports (@PremierSportsTV) September 26, 2021
The young superstar marks his return from injury after 323 days with a goal, goes to the bench to celebrate with the Barcelona staff, and then into the stand to celebrate with his brother
What a moment! pic.twitter.com/s11E7Bguzr
His movement and directness had already caused problems before the goal, and as long as he’s allowed to continue developing as before, he will be a worthy No.10.
‘Ansu-dependance’ really mustn’t be allowed to become something, however.
The clamour for a new hero is, perhaps, predictable, but in Gavi, Nico, Riqui, Eric, Ronald Araujo, Oscar Mingueza and more, the club have young stars coming out of the woodwork.
Give Koeman his due. For all of his other faults, his bravery in giving the kids their wings should be lauded, and Gavi’s performance in particular was sensational.
Just 17 years of age, and the midfielder looked completely at home being involved at every opportunity.
His physicality is, I’d contend, the main reason why Koeman favours what Gavi brings to the table a little more at this stage.
What was wonderful to see from him was a young player expressing himself with complete freedom. The shackles were off.
Yes, he had a clear responsibility to defend when the need arose, but a licence to roam sat well in his shoulders.
His association with Busquets and his other team-mates was at an incredibly high level when you consider the small amount of minutes that he’s played. Minutes that Riqui Puig would kill for.
No doubt there will be many supporters clamouring for Gavi to have a more permanent residency, but are the club brave enough to unleash him against the likes of Benfica, Atletico Madrid and, a little later, Real Madrid?
When Pedri returns and Frenkie de Jong is back from suspension, we all know who the first choice midfield three will be.
In many respects, the technical team are caught between a rock and a hard place.
What was seen on Sunday hints at a much brighter future ahead, and yet there will be much bigger battles to come.
Do the club really want to throw their young talents in at the deep end, risk losing further ground at the top of the table, and then incur the wrath of the Camp Nou?
Fortune favours the brave but Barcelona aren’t really in a position to take any chances.