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Ansu Fati felt slight muscular discomfort before Barcelona vs Elche – report

This past weekend, Barcelona hosted La Liga bottom-feeders Elche at Spotify Camp Nou and cruised to a comfortable 3-0 win, riding on goals from Robert Lewandowski (2) and Memphis Depay.

Building up to the game on Saturday afternoon, there were a lot of expectations that Ansu Fati would be handed a starting berth by manager Xavi Hernandez against the minnows.

After all, the 19-year-old had started just one match until that point and a game against a struggling side would have helped him gain rhythm and confidence.

However, that was not to be as Xavi opted to field a frontline comprising the aforementioned Lewandowski and Depay, along with Ousmane Dembele, with Fati being left out on the bench.

Now, a fresh report from Mundo Deportivo has shed light on the La Masia graduate’s exclusion from the starting XI.

As per the update, Fati felt a slight muscular discomfort before the game. So, even though Xavi was considering handing the 19-year-old a start, he was forced to change his plans due to the minor fitness problem.

Thankfully for Barça fans, the issue was nothing major and the teenage wonderkid did come on to the field in the second half, replacing Depay for the final half-hour or so.

Xavi has constantly maintained that they are following a carefully structured plan with Fati so as to avoid any recurrence of his injuries, considering that the teenager endured a torrid time in the last two seasons due to long-term injury issues.

The Barça coaching staff has been carefully easing him back into action without rushing him back. Even though he has started just one game this term, Fati has featured in all of the Catalans’ matches – official and unofficial as the staff works towards building his rhythm.

Fati was left disappointed over not being called up to the Spain national team. But the report adds that there is a specific plan set for the youngster during the two-week international break to improve his conditioning.

The staff at Barcelona plans to bring Fati up to speed and help him gain strength and rhythm so that he can return to his old levels. Following that, the youngster can push hard to force his way into the Spain squad for the FIFA World Cup which starts in two months.

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