Ansu Fati has played four games for Brighton since making the loan move from FC Barcelona. Brighton head coach Roberto De Zerbi handed the 20-year-old a start for the second time this season in the EFL Cup third-round defeat to Chelsea.
The Spain international’s Premier League debut came against Manchester United at Old Trafford, where he had a wonderful chance to get off the mark but dragged his effort from close range wide.
After missing his side’s clearest chance after 33 minutes against Chelsea, Brighton’s number 31 did not feature in the second half. De Zerbi replaced Ansu Fati at half-time, bringing on Solly March in his place, a substitution that the Italian coach explained after the game in a press conference.
De Zerbi on Ansu Fati
“Before the game, I spoke to him, because Ansu (Fati) played 45 minutes on Sunday against Bournemouth. Ansu in his last spell (with FC Barcelona) didn’t play so many games,” said De Zerbi in quotes transcribed by AS.
“If he plays 90 minutes, it’s a big risk for him, and for us,” the Italian coach added.
In total, since landing at the Amex Stadium, Fati played 26 minutes on his debut against Manchester United, 90 minutes in the Europa League against AEK Athens, the entire second half against Bournemouth, and the first 45 minutes against Chelsea in midweek.
De Zerbi continued: “After the game (against Chelsea) I spoke to him and told him that he could only play 45 minutes to be in good condition for Saturday, because on Saturday we have another important game.”
Kieran Quaile | GSFN