Barcelona confirmed Monday that Ansu Fati has undergone successful knee surgery and will be out of action for the next four months. The news means Barca will have to cope without the 18-year-old until March 2021 at the earliest.
Here’s Barcelona’s official statement:
The first team player 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.
There’s no doubt Fati will be a big miss for Barcelona and Spain. The teenager has five goals already this season and also became his country’s youngest goalscorer with a strike against Ukraine in September.
Mundo Deportivo report that Fati’s injury means he could miss up to 30 games for Barca. Yet if there’s any good news it’s that he should be fit for the business end of the season and could be available for the closing stages of the Champions League and Copa del Rey, should Barca make it that far, as well as the final weeks of their league campaign.
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Fati to Miss Important Fixtures
Fati will certainly miss some important fixtures for club and country, starting with Spain’s Nations League fixtures against Switzerland and Germany. Real Madrid’s Marco Asensio has been called up to the Spain squad to take his place.
The teenager will also miss Barca’s next La Liga fixture against Atletico Madrid at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium on November 21 as well as the culmination of the group stages of the Champions League.
Barcelona are in good shape to qualify after opening up with three wins but still have to play Ferencvaros and Dynamo Kiev away before finishing off with a home tie against Serie A champions Juventus.
Will Barca Sign a Replacement in January?
Manager Ronald Koeman does have an array of attacking talent to use while Fati is out but could still be tempted to dip into the transfer market in January for a replacement for the forward.
Barcelona’s tricky financial situation means it could be difficult for the club to do business, but interim president Carlos Tusquets has said players could still arrive in January if needed, according to the club’s official website.
I feel we should only make a move if a player can come at zero cost. Or if a player is sold in the transfer window, then we could buy. But all these decisions can be reversed by the next presidency. If the new Board wants to go back on everything we decided, then they are free to do so.
Barca tried to sign Memphis Depay from Lyon in the summer and could renew their interest this winter. The 26-year-old would be a relatively cheap option as he is out of contract at the end of the season.
Depay has hinted he might not be at Lyon for the rest of the 2020-21 campaign when asked about his future following his team’s Ligue 1 win over St-Etienne, according to Sport.
You ask me a lot about this question. But I’m not going to make promises that I’m not sure I can keep. I think Lyon has to take advantage of my presence here now. And I have to take advantage of being here. And that’s what I’m trying to do. to do every day. You can ask those around me: I like to train and I try to be positive every day.
There’s still plenty of soccer to play before then and much may depend on how Barca fare in the coming weeks. Fati’s injury should mean more game time for Ousmane Dembele, Francisco Trincao, Pedri, and Philippe Coutinho, and all four will be aiming to nail down a spot in Koeman’s starting XI.