Brighton boss Roberto De Zerbi slams £160k-a-week Barcelona star Ansu Fati over his ‘physical condition’


ROBERTO DE ZERBI has slammed Ansu Fati’s “physical condition” as he was left out of the squad at Brentford. 

The on-loan forward, who is on £160,000 a week at Barcelona, was ordered to work on his fitness by De Zerbi. 

Ansu Fati arrived at Brighton on a season-long loan deal in the summer

He said: “Fati and Valentin Barco, I didn’t decide to play with them in the squad for this game,

“I wanted them to work alone to improve their physical condition.

“He (Fati) is working very well, but from him I have different expectations. I haven’t changed my opinion about Ansu Fati. He is one of the best talents in the world for his age.”

“Our responsibility is to help him to improve his performances, to improve his physical condition,

“To improve his mentality, because to play in the Premier League to have to be stronger in mentality, stronger in physicality and then we are ready to play with him in the first XI.

“When he shows us the right condition, I would be happy.”

Fati has not lived up to expectations during his loan spell despite once being tipped as the new Lionel Messi.

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He enjoyed a glittering start to life at the Nou Camp five-years ago, before picking up injuries.


To rub salt in the wound, De Zerbi opted for Irish 19-year-old Mark O’Mahony, who is yet to make a senior appearance on the bench on Wednesday.

21-year-old Australian, on loan to Cheltenham in League One for the first half of the season, and has only played two first team games in the FA Cup was also preferred over Fati. 

Injuries have hampered Fati’s time at the Amex and he has not scored a goal in five months, since the 2-0 Europa League win over Ajax.

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It is a poor return for an investment of nearly £7million with Brighton paying 80 per cent of Fati’s salary.

That is around £128,000 – which is far higher than the wage of any other Brighton player.

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