Arriving at one of the world’s biggest club for such a vast amount of money, your performances are always going to be placed under a microscope – it’s just how it goes in football.
For Antoine Griezmann, the French winger who joined Barcelona from Atletico Madrid in the summer for £107m, this is exactly what is currently happening.
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His career in Catalonia has, thus far, been far from straight forward. Such a huge price-tag brings with it huge expectation, but with the 28-year-old only scoring four goals in his first 14 appearances for the club, on paper it looks as though he is struggling a little.
Football is not a game played on paper, though, and there are many factors all contributing to the 2018 World Cup winner’s goal return, mainly the fact that he is being deployed as a winger (11 games) more than a centre-forward (3 games)
Indeed, Tuesday night’s goalless draw against Slavia Prague saw Griezmann once again deployed on the left-hand side of midfield as opposed to up-front, even though usual front man Luis Suarez was ruled out through injury.
Messi was instead trusted to spearhead Barca’s attack, with Griezmann shunned out wide in a somewhat baffling line-up constructed by manager Ernesto Valverde.
Barcelona fans have been voicing their opinions on Griezmann’s effectiveness for the club since he joined from Atletico earlier this year; here’s what some had to say about the Frenchman on Twitter, with some quick to compare his situation to that of Philippe Coutinho’s before his loan move to Bayern Munich:
Better impact than Coutinho. Don’t bottle this signing, just fire the damn coach.
— Abin_Adams🇦🇷 (@Abin_Adams) November 7, 2019
Not bad for a player who’s more Defending and playing outside of position.
— Aman™© (@aman_debnath) November 7, 2019
Not bad for a defender
— Khan Arsilan (@KArslan85) November 7, 2019
@AntoGriezmann I KNOW YOU ARE TRYNNA BE PROFESSIONAL AND ALL BUT PLEASE SPEAK UP. MY CLUB IS KILLING YOUR CAREER. YOU ARE NOT A LEFT WINGER
— ODUMODU “BIG GUN” (@blvcksheepinc) November 5, 2019
We bought griezman but he is playing out of position no point buying him @AntoGriezmann it’s upset seeing good players like him getting destroyed. The manager don’t know what he is doing he done same thing to @Phil_Coutinho Griezmann is next in line
— Breezy (@HS44658361) November 7, 2019
I can see @AntoGriezmann is becoming next Coutinho at Barca….
Wrongly positioned in squad and Messi turning on him selfish as a team play….
Valverde will destroy him as well and within 1 year he’ll be playing at another big club on loan like COUTINHO
— ViveKhunti (@VivekKhunti) November 6, 2019
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