Ansu Fati’s loan move to Brighton made the No. 10 shirt vacant at Barcelona but it looks like nobody will take it.
Joao Felix looks like a player who could have taken it considering his profile but he’s taken up No. 14 upon joining the club on a season-long loan from Atletico Madrid.
The Portugal international didn’t really want to take the No. 10 to avoid extra spotlight as he wants to rebuild his career at Barcelona. He thought taking up such a weighted number would have been too bold.
Additionally, Ansu Fati could have gotten offended by someone taking up ‘his’ number as he thinks he was pushed out of the club. So Felix decided against ‘adding fuel to the fire’.
Barcelona agreed with the forward that the No. 10 would have been too risky and excessive and gave him the No. 14.
Ansu Fati left Barcelona for Brighton on August 31, 20231. There were several reasons for his departure:
Limited Playing Time: Fati started the first three games of the season on the bench for Barcelona. Xavi, the coach, told Fati that he couldn’t guarantee him any more minutes due to the system he plays and the competition for places at Barcelona.
Competition: Robert Lewandowski was clearly Xavi’s first choice in attack, while Raphinha, Lamine Yamal and an in-form Ferran Torres all appeared to be ahead of Fati in the pecking order.
Opportunity at Brighton: Brighton’s manager Roberto De Zerbi is said to be “in love with Fati” and has “seduced him with his attractive project.”1 De Zerbi wants to make Fati his “franchise player” and feels his arrival can help Brighton take a big step forward in quality1. Brighton have won plenty of plaudits for their attacking play and are punching above their weight. They finished sixth last season in the league and will play European football in the 2023-24 campaign.
Trust in Youngsters: Brighton have also been willing to place their trust in youngsters, with players such as Moises Caicedo, Alexis Mac Allister, Marc Cucurella, Yves Bissouma and Leandro Trossard all earning big-money moves after impressing on the south coast.
Fati’s move to Brighton is a loan deal without a purchase option, meaning he is due to return to Barcelona at the end of the campaign.