De Zerbi: Brighton ‘need more’ from Ansu Fati

Brighton coach Roberto De Zerbi has said Ansu Fati must give more as the forward moves into the final few months of his season-long loan from LaLiga side Barcelona.

Ansu, 21, joined Brighton amid much fanfare at the start of the campaign but has struggled to live up to expectations in England.

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The Spain international missed two months through injury at the turn of the year and has been limited to just 23 appearances in all competitions, with 14 of them coming as a substitute.

“Ansu is a sensitive guy, he’s a good player,” De Zerbi said in a news conference ahead of Wednesday’s game against Brentford.

“The expectations from him are always very high. And he has to understand and accept the expectations. The first part of his career has been very tough to accept, to understand [with injuries].

“But for the great players, the more important [thing] is to adapt to the expectations. We are helping him. He has to give something more because it’s not enough what he’s doing.

“But he’s a good guy. When you work with good guys, you are happy if you can help them and for him it’s the same.”

Ansu was handed the No.10 shirt at Barça after Lionel Messi‘s departure in 2021 but a string of injuries put the brakes on his career at the Catalan club.

He joined Brighton at the start of the season in search of regular football and scored four goals in his first 14 outings for the club before getting injured at the end of November.

Since returning in February, he has failed to score in nine appearances and was an unused substitute in Sunday’s 2-1 loss to Liverpool at Anfield.

Brighton can climb to seventh in the Premier League with a win at Brentford on Wednesday as they target qualification for Europe for the second consecutive season.

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