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Antoine Griezmann’s move to Barcelona makes no sense

The worst kept secret in football is out... but have Barcelona made a mistake?

The worst kept secret in football is out.

Antoine Griezmann – despite some late legal huffing and puffing from Atletico – is officially a Barcelona player after years of fluttering his eyelashes.

This was a transfer long in the making, with Atletico president Miguel Angel Gil Marin confessing he knew as early as March it was a done deal.

Barca boy

AP:Associated Press
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Barca boy

Luis Suarez is a fading force and Barca’s pursuit of an heir to his throne has been well publicised.

So is Griezmann really the answer?

After Neymar’s departure, Suarez and Lionel Messi maintained their telepathic understanding and become arguably the most devilish doubt act on the continent.

Suarez was not only happy to play understudy to the Argentine, he was simply a different player and they blossomed because the Uruguayan complemented his team-mate’s unrivalled vision.

We all remember how this ended

Reuters
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We all remember how this ended

Griezmann, however, is not a typical number nine.

Whether in Atletico red and white or France blue, Griezmann has been most effective as a second striker, afforded a free roaming role to fully express himself.

There’s one very obvious problem, then, with his move to the Nou Camp – that’s Messi’s role.

Master and apprentice

Reuters
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Master and apprentice

The worry is that both Messi and Griezmann are too like-for-like, occupying the same positions and duly cramping each other’s style.

One of them will have to compromise – and it won’t be Messi, that’s just the status quo at Barca.

We’ve already witnessed the drastic fall from grace of Philippe Coutinho in the last 18 months, with the Brazilian fading into the shadows while Messi assumes the creative responsibilities.

When the Fortnite servers are down

Reuters
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When the Fortnite servers are down

Granted Griezmann, you’d say, has more minerals than Coutinho judging by his history at Atletico.

Playing in a Diego Simeone team took a certain temperament, diligence and selflessness yet the Frenchman still thrived.

He has exhibited enough evidence to suggest he will happily knuckle down and play for the cause rather than himself.

But Barca need both an immediate and long-term replacement for Suarez.

More haircuts than you’ve had hot dinners

Getty - Contributor
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More haircuts than you’ve had hot dinners

Griezmann, despite his fresh face and youthful demeanour, is already 28 and has played a lot of football already in his career.

He’s hardly the new kid on the block and feels like a signing borne out of luxury than necessity.

In fact it already feels like arch rivals Real Madrid have got one over them this summer.

Luka Jovic looks far more like the ready-made Suarez replacement than Griezmann does, but he traded Frankfurt for Madrid rather than Catalonia.

A better option?

AFP or licensors
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A better option?

Instead Barca don’t really have a new centre-forward, they have a BTEC Messi who will have to adapt to new demands.

Griezmann will score goals, that’s inevitable, but the deal reeks of uncertainty.

He’s nowhere near as prolific as Suarez and the £107m deal adds to Barca’s astonishing debt, rumoured to be over £800m.

Can he adapt to lead the line? Or will he become the latest to fall behind Messi’s shadow?


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