FC Barcelona legend Samuel Eto'o has picked out teenage sensation Ansu Fati as the player who can succeed Lionel Messi as the club's star man.
After nearly two decades on the books of Barcelona, Messi's time at the Camp Nou appears to be coming to an end and the Argentine superstar is allowed to leave the club for free when his contract expires at the end of the season.
With the six-time Ballon d'Or winner's future in doubt, attention has shifted towards finding the player who can replace him at Barcelona and club legend Eto'o believes that the solution already exists within the first-team squad.
The Cameroon international, who scored 130 goals for Barca, was speaking to Sport Bible h/t Sport when he shared his view that Guinea-Bissau-born Spain international Fati (18) could be the man to fill Messi's boots when the 33-year-old does eventually depart from the club.
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"I think [Fati] is the one for the future," Eto'o said. "He is currently doing incredible things, so I think the club really needs to prepare him and take good care of him. Hopefully he will be the one to replace Messi."
Like Messi, Fati joined Barcelona as a young boy before progressing through the youth structures at the famed La Masia academy. He then became the club's second-youngest-ever player upon making his debut in August 2019 and has since scored 13 goals in 43 appearances.
That tally included an impressive five goals in 10 games this season before the teenage forward was forced to undergo surgery in November after tearing the meniscus on his left knee.