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The data behind Ansu Fati’s goalscoring

Barcelona did not have many positives last season, losing the league to Real Madrid by five points, getting knocked out of the Copa Del Rey to Athletic Bilbao in the quarter-finals and getting thrashed 8-2 to Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals. The one positive, however, was new talent Ansu Fati. The 17-year-old has sent shockwaves through the world of football, scoring eight goals and recording one assist in 2019/20, and four goals in three games for club and country. He has broken various records, like becoming the youngest scorer for Barcelona, youngest scorer in the Champions League and many more. The precision with which he shoots and gets into chances makes him an intriguing player, as we will see in the shot map for FC Barcelona below.

Most of his shots come in from the left-wing, which is understandable as he has played there for the majority of his Barcelona career. He has a decent shooting range as seen in the distance of his shots from the goal. He clocked in two goals outside the penalty area and seven inside, with only one coming from a central area. He has an xG of 0.56 in the 2020/21 La Liga season, where he has scored three goals from. In the 2019/20 season, he scored seven goals from an xG of 3.25, which indicates his consistent goalscoring prowess. We can see the xG of his shots in the second shot map below.

Fati takes most of his shots from low xG zones and signifies one of his problems when attacking. He is a clinical finisher, but must improve in getting into shot-taking positions so that he can get more clear cut chances to score goals.

Ansu Fati is very clearly a generational talent and is gearing up to be ready to take over Lionel Messi’s mantle. If he sorts out his rough edges, Barcelona should have a fiery attack with Fati, Trincao, Dembele and Pedri.