Ansu Fati has been ruled out for several months, as Barcelona have lost their star youngster to a serious knee injury.
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Fati, 17, is the heir apparent to Lionel Messi at the Nou Camp but the Spanish international has seen his promising start to the 2020-21 season hit hard as he has had surgery on a damaged meniscus.
He suffered the injury during Barcelona’s win against Real Betis on Saturday, as he came off at half time and was replaced by Messi who scored twice in a 5-2 win.
In a statement Barcelona confirmed that Ansu Fati will be out until March 2021, just as he was becoming a regular for the Catalan giants.
“Ansu Fati has been operated on successfully by Dr. Ramon Cugat for the injury to the internal meniscus of his left knee under the supervision of the Club’s medical staff. The player will be out for approximately four months.”
Fati had scored five goals and added two assists in 10 games so far this season, while he also scored his first goal for Spain in September as he holds the record as the youngest goalscorer in the history of the Spanish national team and Barcelona.
This is a big, big blow for Ronald Koeman.
Amid a turbulent time at Barcelona which saw Lionel Messi try to force through a move away in the summer, then president Josep Maria Bartomeu resign amid growing unrest behind-the-scenes, the form of Fati was one of the only positives.
Antoine Griezmann, Messi, Philippe Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele will be tasked with leading the attack without Fati, while youngsters Trincao and Pedri have both shown plenty of promise too. USMNT teenager Konrad de la Fuente could also get some extra minutes with Fati out.
Still, in a team stacked with young talent there’s no doubt that Fati is the jewel in Barcelona’s crown.