Barcelona starboy explains why he joined Brighton and sets ambitious end-of-season targets
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It was a move that few people saw coming, after the 20-year-old had been closely linked with a move to Chelsea and Tottenham all summer.
However, Fati said it was a conversation with the Brighton boss that convinced him to move to the Amex Stadium.
Speaking to the club’s official website, Fati said: “Firstly, I spoke to coach Roberto [De Zerbi] and he said he had full confidence in me and told me what he thought of me. That was a key factor in coming here.
"Yes he [De Zerbi] was the main person that convinced me to come here, with what he said, how he sees me as a player and what I can improve. I think that was the key.”
The Spanish international also claimed Brighton was one of the teams he followed the most in England and had been impressed by their rise in recent years, which has seen the Seagulls qualify for the Europa League for the first-time ever this season.
Fati said: "I knew that it was a club that had grown during the last few seasons and that it had made good progress, even qualifying for Europe this season. I like the Premier League a lot and it was one of the clubs I followed the most.”
Fati made his debut for Barcelona in 2019 and has been widely regarded as one of the most talented young players in world football.
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The forward’s ability has drawn comparisons to former Catalan Lionel Messi, with the club giving his legendary number 10 jersey to Fati, after the Argentinian left to join PSG in 2020.
Recent injury problems to his knee has halted Fati’s progression, starting just 14 games in all competitions last season. Barca head coach Xavi said the youngster had been sent on loan to regain his form and fitness, in order for him to ‘return and make history at Barcelona in the future”.
Having started off his career as a striker, the youngster was predominately used as a left-winger by Xavi, but can also operate as a second striker or right winger.
He joins a Brighton side that is coming off its greatest season ever, having achieved their highest-ever top flight finish (sixth) to qualify for the Europa League, but Fati believes the cub can go one better this time around.
When asked about this season’s targets, he said: "To try and qualify for Europe again like they did last year and if we can qualify for the Champions League even better.”
Fati is likely to make his Albion debut on September 16, When Roberto De Zerbi’s side face Manchester United at Old Trafford.