Ansu Fati, a future as a centre-forward for Barcelona

Ansu Fati, a future as a centre-forward for Barcelona

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The Spanish winger could be converted to a centre-forward after his injuries

Ansu Fati played 30 minutes against Elche in Barça's last match, coming on for Memphis Depay. He started on the wing, receiving four balls (61', 71', 88' and 89') and in none of them did he try to beat a man one-on-one. In these situations you have to change your rhythm and look for the limits of your muscles and the Barça striker preferred to continue the play with a short pass, backwards.

As a No 9, on the other hand, he was active and close to the goal: he finished off a bicycle kick against the body of John Donald (65'); he missed one chance due to poor control near the penalty spot (67'); he sent a brilliant scooped pass from Pedri across goal (74') and could not overcome John Donald again or Palacios in another action that ended in the sixth corner of the game. Finally, the two balls that Pedri and Frenkie sent him into space (72' and 90') showed that Ansu's ability to put his body in the state of maximum speed is far from its peak.

Keep in mind that the complete recovery of the hamstring muscle will come when he can not only run at maximum speed but can do it repeatedly. If we talk about the 90 minutes of a game, a centre-forward of a team that usually attacks, adding actions with and without the ball, usually reaches 40-45 sprints (about 15-20 at the maximum possible speed), and a false extreme, about 50 sprints (10-15 of maximum demand).

As for the accelerations and decelerations that punish the muscles so much, both exceed 100 in each chapter. For Ansu these records are, today, unfeasible. He lacks rhythm and intensity to compete continuously in each minute of the game.

That is why Ansu feels better playing inside - before Elche he coincided with Lewandowski for 18 minutes and with Ferran, 12 - than on the outside, where he needs more spark and hard work, not only in attack but also in defence, since with Xavi the wingers are fundamental in the beginning of the press.

He is intuitive, he has given two assists in just a few minutes and he has the knack for scoring: he has already scored two, as many as Dembele and twice as many as Raphinha, Ferran and Memphis, only surpassed by Lewandowski, who has scored 11.

In addition, he’s racked up 14 shots - seven on goal, one off the post and six off target; he plays focused - he hasn't been caught offside once - and he is smart to occupy the spaces not being attacked by others.

He’s provided just two crosses from the wing, as he spends less and less time there. Reinventing himself? Ansu has always been more of a No 9 than anything else but it seems that now he can only be a No 9. He It takes time to point out what the future of the young Barcelona player is going to be, still 19 years old.

He is doing everything on his side, physically and psychologically - so much suffering -, allowing himself to be helped in both areas. Technically and tactically, he is still ready. Xavi believes that the return, with capital letters, is near and Barcelona fans are still in love with him, and are willing to wait.

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