Ansu Fati's father is right: Barcelona's 'new Lionel Messi' needs to quit Camp Nou
The circumstances in which Bori Fati could have ended his son's Barcelona career were quite extraordinary.
Bori, Ansu's father and agent, called into Spanish radio station COPE, to air out a number of grievances about his son's situation at Barcelona. He complained about Ansu's lack of playing time, he railed against bigger roles handed to other players.
And, perhaps most importantly, Bori called on his son to leave the club he joined as a teenager.
Ansu was apparently blindsided by the outburst and may release a statement of his own, reaffirming his love for Barca. But the damage may already be done.
At the very least, it's another negative development in what should have been a momentous career from a footballer who is still growing.
Indeed, at a time when he should be looking forward to starting against Elche on Saturday, with Raphinha suspended and Ousmane Dembele injured, he is instead dealing with a furore over his future.
It's quite the fall from grace. Just two years ago, remember, Fati was hailed as Barcelona's 'new Lionel Messi' and even handed the No.10 shirt. Now, he can't even nail down a starting spot.
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He isn't the first teenager to be boxed into the Argentine's influence at Barcelona. Indeed, a string of young talents have been dubbed the second coming of the club legend.
Still, Fati was supposed to be the one that panned out. He was never going to reach Messi's talent, influence or production – no one can. But he appeared, at the very least, to be trending in the right direction.
And now, Fati might slip into a familiar Barcelona trap, another failure in a handful of promising attacking players to see their careers flatlined by expectation.
It might be time for the immensely talented 20-year-old to get out of Camp Nou before that can happen.