We certainly are short of options in attack. The injuries of Suárez, Dembélé and even Hiroki Abe, plus the exits of Carles Pérez and Abel Ruiz, mean that our alternatives upfront are extremely limited. Only two first team forwards, in Leo and Griezmann, as well as one that should be considered as such in Ansu Fati.
With Ansu as the third component of our front 3, and playing the knock-out stages of nothing less than the Champions League, I no longer expect him to return to Barça B in the future. Not only for a matter of us needing him, but also for a question of media attention and being fully integrated in the A squad. He’s still a prospect, and we can’t hope for him to deliver in the high-pressure matches, but he has shown glimpses of his immense quality and he’s what we’ve got. His evolution from last August to June 2020 will have been brutal.
Then, someone we should really give a lot of playtime too is Collado. As the most or second most decisive player at the B in the past two seasons, he has displayed an incredible maturity and filthy technique. He is a natural interior, but with the reserves he has almost always been acting as a winger, in either flank. You wouldn’t notice he isn’t a natural winger. If we see that Ansu isn’t ready yet, the 20-year-old is clearly prepared. He should be our fourth, or even third, attacker this term.
Other names at La Masía? Kike Saverio. Pimienta gives a huge importance to wingers – we saw it with Carles Pérez –, and Kike knows very well when to move away from his mark and wait for the opponent to jump at him to win space and time, and is very effective in 1v1s. Maybe right after dribbling he needs to improve his decision making and end product. Yet he’s having a sensational campaign and, if we need him, he’ll be there.
Then there’s Konrad, but it may be too early as he’s from the Juvenil A and is just making his first apps at the B. Jaume Jardí or Peque too. Then I’m sure Setién will consider things such as using Vidal as a fake striker, Semedo or Junior as wingers, or change the formation. I personally prefer a 4–3–3 with Messi, Griezmann and Ansu, or Collado. But we must squeeze the most out of any slight option.