Opinion: Barcelona can’t expect Messi-esque miracles from Ansu Fati

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For the first time in 322 days, Ansu Fati will return to the Barcelona playing squad against Levante.

The last time he played for the Catalans, Antoine Griezmann and Lionel Messi were still at the club, but now the focus has switched squarely onto the 18-year-old’s shoulders.

Responsibility to raise Barca from their funk is an awful burden for one so young to carry, even if, by popular decree, he’s one of the brightest footballing talents on the planet.

Handing him the No.10 shirt after Messi might well be a statement from the club but it’s also an added pressure.

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‘Messi-dependance’ must not turn into ‘Ansu-dependance,’ and Barca as an organisation as well as their demanding supporters can’t expect miracles from Ansu.

Ansu Fati must not be compared to Lionel Messi

Allowed to grow as before, there is little doubt that he will become one of the leaders of this ‘new’ Barcelona side, but he must be afforded time.

Time to develop, time to recover from a serious injury, and time to reacquaint himself with team-mates.

Ronald Koeman also has a part to play, albeit he may be eased out of the Camp Nou exit door before Ansu has had a chance to re-establish himself.

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