Barcelona wonderkid Ansu Fati could be set for a significant spell on the sidelines, after the starlet suffered a serious knee injury during Barcelona's 5-2 victory over Real Betis on Saturday afternoon.
The 18-year-old played the opening 45 minutes for La Blaugrana, but was substituted at half-time by Ronald Koeman, who introduced the experienced Lionel Messi in his place. The Argentinian forward changed the game, bagging a brace and helping his side run out hefty winners.
But that success appears to have come at a price. The club have confirmed that Fati did not re-enter the pitch for the second half after picking up an injury to his left knee, and he could be out for a while with this serious issue.
The problem is described as a 'medial meniscus injury' to his left knee, a blow which could leave the winger out of action for several months. This cruel injury will undoubtedly slow the development of this prestigious talent, who has set Camp Nou alight since emerging as a genuine star of the game.
Fati shot to stardom last season, but he was merely a beacon of hope during a period of misery and despair, as La Blaugrana surrendered the Spanish title and were humiliated by Bayern in the Champions League.
The Spanish international bagged seven goals in 24 league games last year, eventually solidifying his place as one of Barça's key figures in the team for the years to come.
He has continued his prolific form into the new season, hitting four goals in seven La Liga appearances, and providing one assist for his teammates. He is proving difficult to stop in Europe too, laying on three assists in as many Champions League games, and securing one goal in that time.
Unfortunately, it appears that his growth will come to a standstill as he attempts to recover from this major setback.