Arsenal can complete Mikel Arteta’s front three with the addition of Barcelona starlet Ansu Fati. Reports in the Spanish media claim that unnamed Premier League clubs have expressed an interest in a player who was once consideredLionel Messi’s heir in Catalonia.
Arsenal should be one of the main contenders to sign Fati. The 20-year-old would be an upgrade on several of Arteta’s attackers, providing a long-term option on the opposite flank to Bukayo Saka.
Fati had long been considered the next Messi at Barca but has struggled for game time under Xavi. The former midfielder fielded questions on the Spanish youngster’s future for all of last season after handing him just 12 starts in La Liga.
With Los Blaugrana keen to offload some of its attacking players, Fati could find himself in the firing line. And it would be a sad way to go out for a player billed to be Messi’s long-term replacement at Camp Nou.
He said: “It is not a pressure. I am proud to wear the number 10 after Leo. I am happy with the club and captains for the opportunity.”
Barca legend Dani Alves previously backed Fati to make a Messi-like recovery from a horror knee injury. Speaking in 2021, the former right-back said: “Me and Ansu talk a lot because he also speaks Portuguese and that common point has brought us together quite a bit. He has a great projection and he is a spectacular boy. He has a huge heart.
“His family is helping him a lot. You have to face life with personality and serenity, which is what he has done. To detect the problem and work to solve it. Leo was also injured a lot at the beginning and found the answer to his setbacks. When Ansu does it, he will be able to have more continuity.”
The comparisons with Messi were so widespread that other Barca stars felt obliged to play them down. Defender Gerard Pique insisted: “He is 18 years old and we cannot burden him with a responsibility that does not fall on him. It would not be good for him and for the club.”