Ansu Fati has 'something special', says Valverde

By Sports Desk September 14, 2019

Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde described Ansu Fati as "something special" after the teenager starred in a 5-2 win over Valencia on Saturday.

Making his starting debut, Fati needed just seven minutes to have a major impact at Camp Nou, opening the scoring before setting up Frenkie de Jong for Barca's second.

Fati, aged 16 years and 318 days, became the youngest player to score as a starter in LaLiga history, and the youngest player to both score and assist in a LaLiga game in the 21st century.

Valverde lauded the teenager – who has scored two LaLiga goals for Barca – for his performance, saying it was beyond expectations.

"He is a player who has something special. For his age it seems that he is more mature," he told Movistar. 

"What you see in training is what you see here. Today was something exaggerated – goal, give one assist and almost score another."

Fati set up Barca's victory before a second-half goal from Gerard Pique and Luis Suarez brace lifted Valverde's side onto seven points from four LaLiga games.

Amid the excitement around Fati, Valverde played down comparisons to superstar Lionel Messi, who is sidelined with a calf injury.

"I'm not worried about the comparison," he said.

"The ball is going to be very big and we have to take care of deflating it."

Barcelona sit fourth in what is a congested top half of the table, trailing Atletico Madrid (nine points), Real Madrid (eight) and Athletic Bilbao (eight).

As for his side's performance, Valverde praised Barca's second-half display at home.

"The best thing is that we have come out with determination, to try to score and arrive," he said.

"Sometimes we were in danger of putting a lot forward and leaving room for counters. They have fast players. We have done a good second half."

Barcelona are back in action on Tuesday, visiting Borussia Dortmund in their opening game in the Champions League this season.

Related items

  • Rumour Has It: Allegri 'very close' to Man United, but Spurs remain interested Rumour Has It: Allegri 'very close' to Man United, but Spurs remain interested

    Uncertainty surrounds Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after a woeful start to the season and he could find himself in danger of dismissal.

    United have won only two of their first eight Premier League games of 2019-20 and head into Sunday's visit of Liverpool 15 points adrift of the pacesetters.

    While Solskjaer insists he still has the board's backing, there have been suggestions the club has identified a replacement.

     

    TOP STORY – ALLEGRI 'VERY CLOSE' TO UNITED

    Former Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri is said to be a primary target for Manchester United.

    Italian publication Tuttosport claims contact with Allegri – who left the Old Lady at the end of last season – has "intensified" in recent days.

    They go as far as saying Allegri is "very close to United", with the contest against Liverpool seemingly crucial.

    However, United are not the only club interested in Allegri. Tuttosport also believes Tottenham are keeping tabs on him.

    Mauricio Pochettino is another man under pressure following a difficult few months, though the report suggests Spurs will have to make their minds up quickly if they are to gazump United.

     

    ROUND-UP

    - The Daily Mail believes Solskjaer is relatively safe despite Allegri's lurking, however. It says United are looking to bolster the squad with six major signings over the next two transfer windows. Among the targets are Mario Mandzukic, Saul Niguez, Moussa Dembele and James Maddison.

    - Mandzukic's wage demands could prevent a move to Old Trafford, however. Despite being 33 and entering the twilight of his career, the Croatian wants to be the club's fourth highest-paid player, according to the Sun.

    - Arsenal's plan for the future, according to AS, involves persuading Real Madrid to sell Dani Ceballos, a deal that would result in Mesut Ozil being sold.

    - Meanwhile, the Daily Mail also claims the Gunners also want to sign highly-rated Athletic Bilbao centre-back Unai Nunez, 22, with Everton set to rival them for the £30million-rated defender.

    - Paris Saint-Germain are hopeful of securing new deals for Juan Bernat and Marquinhos, L'Equipe believes.

    - Roma are set to bid farewell to Javier Pastore in January, with the Serie A side telling him he is free to leave, as per Calciomercato. A move to China, Brazil or his native Argentina appears likely.

  • Danilo back in Juventus training ahead of Bologna match Danilo back in Juventus training ahead of Bologna match

    Danilo has returned to full training with Juventus after recovering from a thigh injury

    The 28-year-old, who joined from Manchester City in August, was forced off during the 2-1 win at Brescia on September 24.

    However, the club announced Danilo took part in Wednesday's session at Juventus Training Centre. He may now be involved in Saturday's home league clash with Bologna.

    Aaron Ramsey, who missed Wales' Euro 2020 qualifiers against Slovakia and Croatia because of a slight muscle injury, also took part in light training.

    Right-back Mattia De Sciglio and winger Douglas Costa are on personalised training programmes, Juventus announced on their website, while Rodrigo Bentancur and Miralem Pjanic were granted an extra day off following their international exertions.

    Juventus are top of Serie A after making a seven-game unbeaten start to the campaign.

  • PSG midfielder Gueye out for 10 days with hamstring injury PSG midfielder Gueye out for 10 days with hamstring injury

    Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Idrissa Gueye has been ruled out of action for 10 days with a hamstring injury.

    Gueye, who joined PSG from Everton in July, is expected to miss their games against Nice and Club Brugge over the next week.

    The Senegal international is also a major doubt for the league clash with Marseille on Sunday 27.

    A statement on PSG's official website read: "Idrissa Gueye felt hamstring pain and today's exams confirmed a contracture. He will be away from training for the next 10 days."

    Gueye has made eight appearances for PSG since his move, with the Ligue 1 champions winning each of those matches.

    PSG discovered on Monday that star forward Neymar will miss around a month after also suffering a hamstring injury while on international duty with Brazil.

    Thomas Tuchel's side are two points clear at the top of Ligue 1 after nine matches.

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.