Barcelona head into Saturday’s ‘David vs Goliath’ fixture against Elche on Saturday 12 points ahead of the chasing pack and with the chance to make it 15 before Real Madrid play on Sunday afternoon.
With Ousmane Dembele still out injured and Raphinha suspended for the clash against La Liga’s bottom team, there’s never been a better chance for Ansu Fati, Ferran Torres or both to resurrect their careers at the club.
Ferran has underwhelmed in a number of games since joining the club and his obvious quality has only ever been seen in short bursts, whereas Ansu’s form has completely deserted him since his injury concerns.
Elche, a team with just two wins all season and who have shipped 51 goals in their 26 league matches - almost two per game - are there for the taking.
Ansu hasn’t found the net in the Spanish top-flight since the 3-0 win over Villarreal back in October, whilst Ferran’s last league goals also came in the same week.
His goal against Real Madrid in the 3-1 loss and another in a 4-0 win over Athletic Club sandwiched Ansu’s, and that’s an awfully long while for the pair to wait to have to celebrate another league strike to add to their tally.
Both players are better than this season’s goalscoring exploits suggest. Much better.
For Ferran it’s clearly a matter of confidence when a chance presents itself. Often there’s little wrong with his associative play, he’s just lacking a sniper’s finish.
As with every goalscorer, however, the longer the monkey is on your back, the harder it becomes to shake off.
Ansu needs a goal however it comes. Off his shin, his backside... who cares?!
He isn’t the player that he was and some will doubt that he ever could be again, but a goal - or two - might just see the spark return.
It could see that natural ability to be in the right place at exactly the right time come back, and the pause for thought that has hampered his game of late disappear.
There will be player sales this summer, that’s obvious, and at this point you couldn’t rule out either player being moved on.
However, if they’re able to kick-start things against a club who are 14 points from safety and all but relegated, it’ll be like having two new signings available for Xavi.