Barcelona can’t let Todibo go in January
Ernesto Valverde rotated his side for the trip to Inter Milan as expected and handed youngsters Moussa Wague, Jean-Clair Todibo, Carles Alena and Carles Perez starts.
For Todibo it was only his second start of the season, and his first in Europe’s top competition, but he grasped the opportunity with both hands in a strong showing.
The 19-year-old had his work cut out too up against the lively pairing of Lautaro Martinez and Romelu Lukaku who have plundered 25 goals between them this season for Inter.
Jean-Clair Tobido’s game by numbers vs. Inter:— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) December 10, 2019
82% pass accuracy
8 ball recoveries
8/8 tackles won
3 defensive aerials won
Outrageous numbers. pic.twitter.com/90mnn3PgJn
It wasn’t a completely perfect evening for the teenager, he was a bit loose on Lautaro in the build-up to Lukaku’s goal, but he was excellent on the ball, refused to be bullied and made some brilliant tackles.
There has been plenty of speculation recently that Barcelona could be willing to let Todibo go in the January transfer window and a number of clubs have been linked including Bayer Leverkusen, AC Milan and Watford.
Speculaton has also suggested that Valverde prefers Ronald Araujo to Todibo and he could be promoted if the young Frenchman leaves, but this was a performance that showed the 19-year-old has plenty to offer the club and deserves more opportunities in the first team.
Lautaro Martinez shows Barca his quality
Inter Milan striker Lautaro Martinez keeps on being linked with a move to Barcelona and put in the sort of performance that showed why he is a wanted man.
The 22-year-old was the hosts’ best player on the night, constantly hassling Barca’s backline, holding up the ball expertly and forcing Neto into a good save.
He also managed to get the ball in the back of the net a couple of times for Inter, only to see his efforts correctly chalked off for offside.
There are plenty of rumors claiming Lautaro could be Luis Suarez’s long-term replacement at the Camp Nou, and Barca will have been impressed by his two displays against them in the Champions League.
Ansu Fati’s record-breaking season continues
Ansu Fati is making a habit of breaking records and picked up another one on Tuesday as he became the Champions League’s youngest goalscorer.
The 17-year-old wasted very little scoring the winner for Barca after replacing Carles Perez on a night he will surely never forget.
Ansu became Barcelona’s youngest La Liga goalscorer when he scored against Osasuna in August and also became the youngest player to score and assist in a La Liga game during Barcelona 5-2 win over Valencia in September.
Valverde described him as a “born scorer” after the match, Ivan Rakitic went for “amazing” while Antonio Conte said his goal “killed us in every way.”
Ansu was not the only youngster to shine on a good night for Barca’s kids, but the teenager’s late winner means he steals all the headlines once again.