Ansu Fati: From Barcelona To Brighton

Ansu Fati's Transfer to Brighton - An Overview of His Potential

When Brighton secured Ansu Fati’s services on transfer deadline day, it understandably came as a surprise to most of us. Initially hailed as one of football’s hottest prospects, it seems as though Fati is now out of that equation. Xavi Simons, Gavi, Jude Bellingham and a plethora of others have overtaken the Spaniard as the most promising prospects. Nonetheless, he’s still a player with bags of potential and remains only 20 years old. 

No less than two seasons ago, a move from consistent minutes with Barcelona to a move on England’s south coast would be a significant downgrade. However, this move could reignite the buzz around Fati. He can be allowed to further his development and gain plenty of traction from top European clubs. 

How does Ansu Fati benefit? 

When comparing Brighton to Tottenham – the other major contender in securing Ansu Fati’s loan – there’s one obvious advantage in signing for Brighton: Europa League football. Of course, Spurs failed to qualify for any European competition last season. Meanwhile, Brighton secured a place in the Europa League via a sixth-place finish in the 2022-23 Premier League.  

Despite being a step down from Champions League football, the Europa League still contains plenty of spectacle and quality. Fati will thus still be playing top European sides, developing his game in the process. For example, Brighton has been handed a challenging group that includes AEK Athens, alongside two former Champions League winners Marseille and Ajax.  

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Playing in the Europa League of course means Brighton will have more fixtures this season. Thus, Fati will have more opportunities to showcase his ability. Oddly enough, Brighton has more quality on the wings than Barça (I’m still in disbelief at that statement). So showcasing his quality will be more integral to earning game time at Brighton. Also, the Spaniard is unlikely to receive game time over Heung-min Son or Dejan Kulusevski at Tottenham.  

In the 2023-23 campaign, Ansu Fati made 36 La Liga appearances, missing just two matches. Statistics suggest he played fine – scoring seven and assisting three goals during this time – but Barça will demand better numbers. His only real competition on that left wing was Ferran Torres, who received more yellow cards (five) than scored La Liga goals last season (four). Fati’s spot was all in all too safe in Barça’s front three. Raphinha was of course another option, but was the third and final Barça winger last season

Conversely, competition is fierce out wide at Brighton. Solly March, Kaoru Mitoma, Simon Adingra and even 18-year-old Facundo Buonanotte will also be competing for a place on the left or right wing, so Fati must impress and come in with the correct attitude in order to consistently play. As more of a left winger, Mitoma is his direct competition, and with 10 goals alongside eight assists last season in all competitions, the Spaniard won’t have an easy task replacing him in the pecking order. 

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It’s no secret that Brighton has expertly developed younger players in recent years. From World Cup winner Alexis Mac Allister to Moises Caicedo, Yves Bissouma to Levi Colwill and currently Evan Ferguson, there are plenty of successful case studies for the Seagulls. This means that if Brighton comes calling, you must be a brilliant player or somebody with potential. 

A competitive squad should benefit a player of not just Ansu Fati’s calibre but age too. This should push him to new heights to perform well for Brighton while proving his long-term worth to Barça.

Plus, becoming a temporary understudy to March and Mitoma will improve his game due to both being experienced and mature talents, trusted with vital roles in Brighton’s style of play. If he’s playing a few fewer games than last season it’s fine, because he will gain valuable experience and drive, to earn his place on the team sheet. 

Comparing Brighton to Barça again, there’s a significant difference in pressure. It’s completely understandable that playing at Camp Nou at 20 would unnerve a player. Now I’m not claiming Fati has been affected by that spotlight, however going to Brighton for a season will allow him to focus more so on personal development, not being expected (and relied upon) to start most matches.

How Does Barcelona Benefit? 

If Ansu Fati can succeed in his Brighton loan, his value will increase and given Barça’s current financial position, this couldn’t come at a better time. In the scenario of Barça needing to free up funds, perhaps they could negotiate an impressive fee for the Spaniard. With Brighton’s recent £115m sale of Caicedo, a season at Brighton may result in an exponentially higher market value. Other clubs are aware of Barça‘s financial situation too, nonetheless, the Spaniard would command a remarkable fee. 

Conversely, if Barça wishes to keep him Fati, he could become an integral component for possibly 10 years! As mentioned previously Barça are thin on winger depth. So, having a reliable attacking prospect able to come back into the side next season could be game-changing. Either way, Brighton was the correct club to negotiate this loan deal with.  

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If reports are to be believed, Barça’s reason for temporarily offloading Fati was to free up funds for full-back João Cancelo – on loan from Manchester City. Seeing as how the Portuguese international has fallen out with Man City manager Pep Guardiola, a golden opportunity presents itself to sign one of the best fullbacks in world football.

With Cancelo’s current Manchester City contract expiring in 2024, this loan becomes ever more intriguing. A successful loan for both parties could prompt Barça to sign Cancelo permanently next summer. Needless to say, this would be an exceptional acquisition! 

Brighton is the right place and the right time for Ansu Fati. Everything is coming together to indicate this will be a successful loan move, so long as he remains humble and works hard. Do you think Fati will succeed in his Brighton spell? Be sure to let us know where you think he will be in the 2024-25 season! 

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