Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic has praised teenage sensation Ansu Fati following his latest star showing for the La Liga champions – but also urged the youngster to have ‘patience’.
The 17-year-old started his 12th game of the season in all competitions on Tuesday evening as Barça took on Leganes and caught the eye once again, scoring the opener. After the away side missed two good chances in the opening exchanges, Fati made them pay with a ruthless strike into the bottom corner.
This was his fifth goal in La Liga and his sixth overall in 2019/20. It has been a remarkable breakthrough season for Fati, which has included becoming the youngest ever goalscorer in the Champions League, and Rakitic has now shared his thoughts on the youngster’s displays.
“I’m very happy for him,” Rakitic said (as quoted by Marca) after Barça’s win over Leganes. “He’s doing a really impressive job and he has to have patience.”
As for Antoine Griezmann, however, it was another difficult evening. Starting up front with Luis Suarez once again on the bench, the World Cup winner found it hard to make his mark. The Frenchman was close to netting his ninth league goal of the season as he cooly tapped home on Tuesday, only for VAR to rule it out for an offside in the build up.
Despite his difficult first season at Camp Nou, Rakitic insisted he is a crucial member of the first team. He added: “He scored and it was cancelled. He’s a very important player for us and he’ll only get better with time.”
Barça’s win saw them move five points clear at the top of La Liga, with Real Madrid due to take on Valencia on Thursday evening. Both sides have a tough run of fixtures until the end of the campaign, and it’s expected to be a close title race. Next up for La Blaugrana is a trip to take on Sevilla on Friday.