Surprise Ansu Fati Loan To Brighton Makes Perfect Sense

Not so long ago, Ansu Fati was seen as the natural heir to Lionel Messi at Barcelona. When Messi left the Camp Nou in 2021, the teenager was handed his iconic number 10 shirt. The symbolism in this handover was deliberate. Ansu was meant to be Barca’s next homegrown superstar to reach the top of the sport.

A lot has changed since then. Ansu suffered a series of injury setbacks and has struggled to play to his full potential since returning. Still only 20, Barcelona aren’t ready to fully give up on the attacker, but they have sanctioned a loan move to Brighton where Ansu will spend the 2023/24 season.

Brighton could be the perfect place for Ansu to get his career back on track. The Seagulls are flying high under Roberto De Zerbi after finishing sixth in the Premier
League table last season. It might be beyond them to better that achievement this season, but few expect Brighton to fall away any time soon.

The signing of Ansu could give Brighton a different dimension in the attacking third. The 20-year-old is extremely versatile and can play in every position across the frontline. He has operated as a centre forward through the middle and as a secondary striker alongside a more orthodox number nine.

On the wing, Ansu can also be extremely effective with his natural instinct to cut inside and create overloads in central areas. That’s something that could appeal to De Zerbi who likes his team to play quickly and create passing sequences through the midfield and into the attack. Ansu could help facilitate this approach.

Julio Enciso is expected to miss a prolonged period through injury and so Ansu could fill the void left by the Paraguayan in the Brighton attack. Ansu’s dribbling ability and eye for a goal would make him an influential figure in and around the penalty box. De Zerbi surely has a plan on how to best utilise him.

Recruitment-wise, there is no better club in the Premier League at identifying talent and harnessing it. Indeed, Brighton have set a new standard with their scouting. Whenever they sell one of their best players, there is invariably a replacement waiting in the wings. They have continued to build like this for a number of years.

Reports claim Tottenham Hotspur were also interested in signing Ansu on loan, but Brighton seemingly made the better sales pitch to the Spanish international. That says a lot about how the club is now seen at the elite level of the sport. A season on the south coast of England could be exactly what Ansu needs.