When Luis Enrique revealed that there was one player who let him down in the FIFA World Cup squad, the media did not take long to scapegoat Ansu Fati. After all, the youngster had not been convincing for Barcelona since his return from injury and was the most dubious inclusion on the roster.
The real identity of the player Enrique was referring to will probably never come out. However, it will not be without impact, and the targetted criticism will almost certainly have a direct effect on Fati’s confidence.
According to reports from SPORT, Xavi still believes completely in the young phenom to step up. The manager is convinced that Fati will be key for Barcelona in the second half of the season, especially given the rough schedule ahead.
Fati’s short career thus far has seen the highest of highs as well as the lowest of lows. His injury-marred record has been a direct hurdle in his development, and one cannot fault the player for a lack of commitment and talent.
The 20-year-old averages 30 minutes per game in his fourteen appearances for the Blaugrana this season, scoring three goals and providing three assists in that season.
Coming off a long break, one would expect Fati to be fit and raring to go when the Azulgranas return to action on 31st December. He is expected to start the game, given that Ousmane Dembele and Robert Lewandowski will be unavailable for Xavi.
Needless to say, the youngster will be determined to put his past issues behind him and make a fresh start to his career at the highest level. With the manager’s trust firmly on his side, Fati has a lot to prove to the world.