Ansu Fati has finally returned to the field of play after a long period out due to a serious injury. The Blaugrana academy product has made a quick impression following his first few games back, providing a new impetus to the attack which had previously been lacking in the side. For this reason, at the MBP School of Coaches, we have analyzed this new version of Fati, highlighting the 3 main points: the player profile, the game fundamentals, and the impact he can have within the collective.
The young star is known for his versatility in attack, being able to play on both wings, and even as a false 9. However, where his strengths have shone most, and where Fati has given his best performances, has been as the left-sided winger. Fati is highly dynamic in the actions he performs, combining an excellent speed of execution, and, at the same time, a technical precision available to only an elite few. For this reason, we should point out the two structures that surprise us the most about the Barca prodigy.
The first of these is his coordinative structure. The La Masia player is a technically efficient player, showing a remarkable ease in linking actions of greater difficulty, which allows him to beat opponents.
The second structure that stands out in the attacker is the mental one. After his comeback from an injury that had kept him side-lined for most of last season, Fati has demonstrated great mental maturity. The national team player has returned just as he left, fearless in 1vs1 encounters and eager as ever to continue dominating on the pitch.
In terms of the most common behaviors that the ‘new 10’ of Barcelona tends to perform, we should mention the application of two fundamentals pivotal to his game. The first of these refers to his goalscoring ability – primarily in prioritizing accuracy over power in his shots.
The Culé winger is able to identify the moments of when to place the ball away from the goalkeeper’s zone of intervention in situations further away from goal, and when to prioritize power in shots when the time/space to the goalkeeper is much less.
In the same way, Fati correctly executes other fundamentals related to the previous one such as ‘finishing using one touch (ensuring good contact)’ and ‘orientating the body to prepare the finishing action’. It is largely because of this that the youngster is known for being such an elite finisher.
The second fundamental that Fati excels at is orienting the body side-on. As a result of this, the Barca player can collect information before receiving the ball, allowing him to adapt his body position according to the subsequent action he will perform.
For example, when he identifies that he has a sufficient spatial advantage, he will adapt his body position so that, through his first touch, he can progress and position himself in an advantageous area in relation to the opponent.
The impact of Ansu Fati on the collective
The soon to be 19-year-old is one of the few wingers in the current Barcelona squad. For this reason, he is able to provide the necessary width and depth through the left side in the attacking phase.
Another notable aspect of Fati’s contribution to the team is his goalscoring prowess. In the absence of Messi, the leading goal machine for the team over the last decade, it is now up to Fati to be the side’s main threat. Therefore, the goalscoring performances of the winger will be essential for this season, especially after the team’s underwhelming start to the campaign.
Finally, the associative capacity that he can offer on the pitch, and especially the constellation that he can build with Jordi Alba, will be very important for FCB. If, between the two of them, they can generate a productive synergy on the left side, the team will possess a deadly outlet for their attacking thrust.
The La Masia product is the next great hope for the 5-time Champions League winners, especially in a season of transition such as this one. Although the new 10 has just recovered from a serious injury, the future success of the team will be closely related to Fati’s performances.
At the MBP School of Coaches, we are looking forward to seeing how Ansu Fati 2.0 evolves individually and collectively, both at Barcelona with the new head coach, as well as in the Spanish National Team.