Antoine Griezmann has performed below expectations since he joined Barcelona in July 2019. After years of toying with the idea of joining the Camp Nou giants, the Catalans decided to pay his staggering €120 million buy-out clause in the hope of finding Lionel Messi the attacking partner he has been so obviously missing since the departure of Neymar to PSG in the summer of 2017.
As we discussed in much more detail in our latest The Barcelona Podcast, Griezmann’s 14 goals in 37 appearances this season are far from a terrible return. However, they are obviously not enough to satisfy the highly-demanding Barca fans either.
Listen to The Barcelona Podcast here:
Griezmann’s eagerness to adapt to Barcelona is unquestionable. To be fair, world-class strikers such as David Villa or Thierry Henry also found it hard to find their feet in a formation with Messi as the obvious focal point. If they ended up succeeding at the Camp Nou, it was mainly because they accepted a secondary role which enabled the Argentina star to shine while, at the same time, maximising their own strengths in a different way.
Given his unimpressive performances and price-tag, I can understand why Griezmann has been included in several transfer rumours after just one season at Barca.
Back in March, former Liverpool defender Steve Nicol claimed Griezmann could be on his way out: “The only way the Neymar transfer is possible is with Griezmann and some money as well. Actually, it would probably do Griezmann a favour.”
“We are almost towards the end of the season and we are still waiting for things to click with him at Barcelona with Messi and everybody else. It just doesn’t look like it’s ever going to happen. He can’t be enjoying it, he’s spent the majority of his career in getting pats on the back and getting praise, winning games for France.”
“I think it’s a good idea, Neymar goes back and Griezmann goes to Paris, where he’ll be adored and he’ll do well.”
In the latest The Barcelona Podcast, I argued that Griezmann should be given at least another season at the Camp Nou. While the French international has not been as influential as expected, I have seen just enough willingness to learn and adapt to give him the benefit of the doubt – and another 12 months to prove his true worth.
Having said that, an improvement in his goalscoring return, a better understanding of his preferred positioning within Barca’s attack and an improved association with Jordi Alba is needed.
We also discussed Messi, Luis Suarez, Nelson Semedo, La Masia and much more in our latest podcast – Listen Now.