Barcelona duo Ansu Fati and Carles Perez are deemed to be two of the brightest young prospects currently at the club, reflected by the fact that the pair are currently members of the first-team and not the B team like most of the players their age.
In the case of Fati, the 16-year-old put his name on the map at the start of the campaign. Amid an injury crisis at the Camp Nou, which saw the likes of Ousmane Dembele, Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi all face time on the sidelines, manager Ernesto Valverde was forced into using the teenager against Osasuna and Valencia.
Fati repaid the faith shown in him by his manager, scoring twice and assisting once during those matches (via Transfermarkt).
However, since the return of Messi, Dembele and Suarez, the young Spaniard has unsurprisingly seen a severe drop in game-time.
Fati has been an unused substitute for the Catalans during their previous three matches (all competitions), leaving question marks surrounding his constant inclusion in the matchday squad, with it seemingly more beneficial for the player to instead feature regularly for the club’s B team in the Segunda Division.
A similar case has been built for Perez, who also seen a healthy amount of playing time for Barca’s first-team this season.
The 21-year-old has started five of the Blaugrana’s eight league games this term and has a clause in his contract which stipulates that if he plays in one and a half more games – or 45 minutes in three different games – he will be registered to the first-team permanently, instead of the B team (via Sport).
“They are in the first-team dynamic and that’s the idea in principle,” said Valverde, when speaking of the duo’s importance to the team.
The Barca coach did leave the door open to dropping down in the future, however: “They have registrations with the B team and it’s possible could play for them at some point, but we will see. As of today, they are part of the first team dynamic.” (per Sport).
It is promising to see a club as big as Barcelona bedding in some younger prospects with all the world-class recognised talent they have available to them.
Perez seems to be getting a fair amount of playing time, so keeping him involved in the first-team set-up seems a good idea. Indeed, Fati could perhaps benefit from dropping into the B team and playing regularly, especially at such a young age.
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