Barcelona have struggled to contain their latest batch of injuries, but Cules did perhaps receive the best injury news they could hope for on Saturday. Ansu Fati is back.
Speaking in his press conference ahead of Barcelona’s match with Mallorca, Xavi Hernandez announced that Ansu would be present tomorrow.
“We will announce the squad tomorrow and I will reveal already that Ansu will be in it.”
Sport covered the press conference, with Xavi also revealing that Ansu would see minutes against Mallorca if everything went to plan.
“He is enjoying himself and he has good feelings. Tomorrow if everything goes well he will play a few minutes at least. He looks cheerful and he is differential. I am very happy to have him. You see different things, he is a special player and he will be very helpful to us.”
Since his last injury, Barcelona have had reinforcements. Ferran Torres was already at the club, but Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Adama Traore also arrived. With Memphis Depay competing for minutes too, there is a question over where exactly Ansu will play.
“He fits will in both places, out wide and up front. As a 9, he associates very well, he plays the ball off well, he links up well. And in the end, he has goals, he has to be near to the goal. He has that smell for goal. The rebounds fall to him.”
Although Xavi didn’t rule out playing him out wide, that answer perhaps suggests he sees him more as central forward.
This is of course Fati’s third recovery this season. The Spanish international returned in November and then again January, suffering relapses on both occasions. Xavi maintains that the club have done everything possible to ensure that it doesn’t happen again.
“We have monitored and planned around him from the first day. He decided on a conservative treatment. We have controlled his fat [percentage], the muscular issues, the nutrition. Looking after him a lot.”
“He is a differential player, special. Right now the feelings are good. Thursday we did a practice game on the whole pitch and it went very well. He’ll be in the squad and hopefully help us.”