Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman revealed that while he does want to give Ansu Fati more game-time, it all depends on the young forward and how he recovers game by game. The 18-year-old made his return after being out injured for more than ten months against Levante and even scored off the bench.
After a sensational start to the season, Ansu Fati suffered a knee injury in November 2020 which would see the young forward miss the remainder of the 2020/21 season. However, the injury became even worse with Fati set to miss the start of the 2021/22 season as well but the youngster made his comeback in Barcelona’s latest outing on Sunday. Not only that, while Fati’s return was off the bench, the Spaniard found the net in his first appearance with the number 10.
The 18-year-old has taken over Lionel Messi’s old number for Barcelona and enjoyed a scoring comeback from injury, on his first appearance in just over ten months. However, with a long stretch of games set to come around the corner for Barcelona, Ronald Koeman has admitted that while he does want to give Fati game-time, it all depends on how the forward recovers. The Barcelona boss also added that the mental aspect is also a part of his thinking as he wants to slowly ease him back in.
"He was very tired on Monday. What happened also had a huge emotional impact on him after so long out, coming on, scoring, being with his family. We have to keep the mental aspect in mind. He trained today without problems. We will keep trying to give him more time in games,” Koeman said, reported Goal.
“It depends on how Ansu is. We have to increase (his minutes) but I can't say before every game how many minutes he can play, it depends on the player."
The youngster earned four caps for Spain before his injury and was reportedly set to be a big part of Luis Enrique’s squad for Euro 2020 but was ruled out of action. However, with an international break approaching around the corner, Ronald Koeman has revealed that he doesn’t know what will happen as he isn’t the national team head coach. Koeman also added that Fati needs time to get back to full match fitness and hopefully that happens.
"I don't know because I am not the national team coach. He still lacks a lot [to be 100 per cent], as we spoke about the other day. Things went well on Sunday, he got the 15 minutes we said and to score as well was perfect for us.
"But I can't give my opinion on Spain. What I can say is he's just been out for 10 months. He's trained with the team for a couple of weeks and has only played 15 minutes of football,” he added.