Barcelona FINALLY find number 10 to replace Messi

Will Barcelona sign a replacement for Ansu Fati in January?

Ansu Fati has been handed the iconic number 10 shirt at Barcelona, previously worn by Lionel Messi among other club legends.

Many thought that promising attacking midfielder Pedri would take the number, but instead it has gone to La Masia graduate Fati who now vacates the number 22 jersey.

The announcement was made by Barcelona through their various social media platforms on Wednesday, with the young forward presented with his shirt for the upcoming season.

The '10' had been available since Messi left the Catalan outfit for Paris Saint-Germain last month.

Now, Barca will be hoping that Fati can replicate some of the six-time Ballon d'Or winner's achievements in the shirt.

Why Ansu Fati?

A statement on Barcelona's website explained the club's reasoning for handing Fati the shirt, referring to Fati as a 'record breaker'.

''Ansu Fati has a new shirt number. After wearing the No 22 then No 17, the young Barca striker will proudly wear the number 10 shirt - a famous jersey previously worn by legends such as Leo Messi, Ronaldinho and Rivaldo,'' the statement read.

''Despite being just 18 years of age and still recovering from injury, Ansu Fati forms part of Barca's history as a record breaker and also with the Spanish national side.

''Since his debut in August 2019, the youngster has set records in the league and Champions League.

''Just six days after his debut for the first team he became the youngest ever player to score in the league for FC Barcelona. He is a record breaker who will now wear the magical No 10 shirt.''

The 18-year-old is currently recovering from a knee injury sustained in a match against Real Betis last November.

He will undergo a mix of both individual and group training sessions before his return to the team - which will not come against Sevilla after the international break.

“There’s still a long way to go before Fati can compete at the highest level,'' head coach Ronald Koeman said.

''You don’t win that much time off the pitch in two or three weeks. He won’t be ready against Sevilla. He needs more training, more strength, more physicality. We’re not going to take a risk.''