“Fati’s quality is undeniable” – Koeman celebrates the teenager’s lighting up of Camp Nou

Obiajulu Chiagoziem

Barcelona Head Coach and manager, Ronald Koeman has praised teenager Ansu Fati’s form following his tremendous display in yesterday’s match against Valencia.

Fati who returned from a long-term knee injury, had been limited to substitute appearances before the international break. He marked his first start since November 7 with a superb equaliser after Jose Gaya had given Los Che an early lead.

Fati won the penalty that saw Memphis Depay put Barca ahead before the break, while Philippe Coutinho added a late third to ease the pressure on Koeman

The team winning yesterday’s match had eased the pressure mounted on the former Netherlands coach.

Speaking about Fati’s performance, he said
“He has to improve physically little by little, but his quality is undeniable,” the Dutchman told Movistar. “Today he has already played an hour and he has more and more competition rhythm. Hopefully he can play many more years at this club.

“We have a plan with him. Today he played from the beginning for the first time. Little by little he will be better and it will be more important; he is a different player from the rest.”

Koeman also talked about Sergio Aguero efforts, while pointing out the need for Aguero and Ansu’s greater impact on the team.

“It is important for the team to recover the injured attackers,” he added. “Ansu and Aguero are different players, with special qualities. Aguero also has experience. I hope he follows a path similar to Ansu’s. It is not a question of quality, but of being in good physical condition.” he concluded.

Countinho’s late goal sent in a huge scream of relief as this helped boost his confidence since scoring last in November 29 last year.

“It was a cry of rage [his celebration] because I needed to score to gain confidence,” Koeman explained. “No one else knows how much I have suffered. I have the same desire or even more with everything I’ve been through. It is a scar that makes me stronger.

“I have more desire to succeed and be the best Coutinho. We know that the situation is not the way we want it, but we are the only ones capable of lifting it.

The team is involved and today we have shown it against Valencia. We have given 100 per cent, but if we have to give 150 per cent, we will give it.” he concluded.