Barcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets helped convince 18-year-old striker Ansu Fati to take over Lionel Messi’s iconic No. 10 shirt at the Camp Nou for the 2021-22 season.
The famous No. 10 has not been used since Messi’s shock departure but is now in the possession of Fati. The youngster is currently sidelined with injury but will wear the number for the first time when he makes his long-awaited return to first-team action.
Fati agreed to take over the shirt from Messi after receiving the offer from Busquets, according to Cadena SER. Busquets has taken over the captain’s armband from Messi and sent a message to Fati asking him to wear the No. 10.
The youngster was happy to accept Busquets’s offer and is “aware of the pressure but feels ready to take on this responsibility” of inheriting Messi’s shirt number. The report adds that Barcelona “values his courage and personality very much,” while president Joan Laporta has already described Fati’s decision as “brave” in an interview with Esport3.
Fati becomes the latest in a long list of legends to wear the Barcelona No. 10 which includes players such as Ronaldinho, Rivaldo, Romario, Hristo Stoichkov, and even Diego Maradona.
Follow the Heavy on Barcelona Facebook page for the latest breaking news, rumors and content!
Fati Discusses Barcelona Renewal
Barcelona giving Fati the No. 10 shirt is a huge show of faith in the youngster by the club, particularly seeing as he has not featured since November 2020 because of a serious knee injury.
The Catalan giants are also keen to secure Fati’s long-term future. Fati has already sat down with his agent, Jorge Mendes, and made it clear he wants to stay at the Camp Nou, according to Marca.
The report adds that “there have been a number of other clubs interested” in Fati but a second meeting is now planned to discuss further details. The forward is one of a host of promising young talents at the Camp Nou currently along with Pedri, Gavi, Nico Gonzalez, and Alejandro Balde.
When Will Fati Return?
Barcelona have not confirmed when Fati will return to action but a comeback is on the cards with the youngster back in training. According to Diario Sport, Fati completed his first full session with his team-mates on Wednesday, September 15.
The club’s medical services subsequently took a check on Fati and are happy with his progress, as reported by Diario Sport. It’s thought that he will not be in the squad for Barcelona’s next game, against Granada on September 20, but he could return after that.
Indeed it’s not been ruled out that Fati could enjoy minutes against Cadiz on September 23 or against Levante three days later. Certainly, Barcelona will be eager to have the youngster back in action after 10 months on the sidelines.
Coach Ronald Koeman is also short of attacking options with Ousmane Dembele, Sergio Aguero, and Martin Braithwaite also still sidelined. Barca have confirmed that Braithwaite has undergone knee surgery which is expected to rule him out until 2022.