Antoine Griezmann should have never left Atletico Madrid for Barcelona, according to former France international Jeremy Mathieu.
A long-lasting transfer saga linking Griezmann with a blockbuster move to Barcelona got the epilogue last summer. Atletico Madrid were able to fend off Barca’s attempts to land the left-footed forward for almost two years. However, Los Rojiblancos had no other option but to give up their headline performer after the Catalan side matched the Frenchman’s €120million release clause. Following an underwhelming start to his life at Camp Nou, there is no room for complacency for Griezmann whatsoever.
The 29-year-old has faltered at Barcelona, often failing to live up to expectations. What’s more, there is a genuine feeling that Griezmann has never really developed an on-field partnership with Lionel Messi. The fact the two can’t co-exist on the pitch has made Ronald Koeman’s hopes of restoring Barca to the football elite ever more challenging. Encouragingly, though, the World Cup winner has sparked into life since the calendar flipped to 2021, accruing seven goals and eight assists in 15 games across all competitions.
Despite Griezmann’s upturn in form, it seems to be too little too late for Barcelona to return into contention for the La Liga title. On the other hand, they are on the brink of exiting the UEFA Champions League on the back of a 4-1 walloping to Paris Saint-Germain in the first leg of their last-16 tie. Faced with another trophyless season, the struggling Catalan giants might be looking to offload some high-paid stars to settle the ballooning wage bill. One of the players who could be shown the door is Griezmann, as Barcelona prepare to overhaul a squad that has faltered over the past couple of seasons.
Griezmann in front but saved by the keeper! pic.twitter.com/75oYTZkOFK— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) February 21, 2021
Griezmann should have never arrived at Camp Nou in the first place. At least that’s what former Barcelona defender Jeremy Mathieu is inclined to believe.
“Griezmann is not at his Atletico level,” Mathieu told RAC1.
“Personally, in my opinion, it is a mistake that he came to Barcelona.
“At Atletico, he was a very important piece, and I don’t know if he has that importance at Barcelona.”