Former Barcelona presidential candidate Toni Freixa says it's crucial Ansu Fati stays.
Fati returned after long-term knee injury for victory over Valencia on Sunday. The Spain international impressed on the night as Barca won 3-1. It was a special moment for Barca, as Fati was joined by Philippe Coutinho and Sergio Aguero for the first time this season.
For Freixa, Fati's return is the most significant. The former director rates Fati as their best young player - even ahead of midfield talent Pedri.
Via Marca, Freixa told Radio Marca: "He is the player who will give us this year the point to aspire to everything. He is very young, he comes from an injury, but he is different. He has a lot of offensive resources and so much goal threat that I think he will give us a chance to compete.
"(Lionel) Messi eats separately, but it is a joy that a player assumes those stripes. And without leaving Pedri and Gavi behind, they are the great joy that the club has. There has been a great management of grassroots football."
Fati is currently in talks with Barca over a new contract. His current deal is due to expire at the end of this season.
Freixa also dismissed talk of Messi, now of PSG, being asked to play for "free" by president Joan Laporta. Laporta made the claim last week, though Friexa insists the president wasn't serious about the suggestion.
He added: "That Messi should play for free was a spontaneous declaration. The Board's plan to renew Messi did not involve Messi playing for free. It is impossible from the Fair Play point of view. It is an anecdote."
- updated October 19
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