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Antoine Griezmann Staying at Atlético Madrid: Blessing in Disguise?

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Barcelona board wanted him badly, but was that always a mistake?

France v Italy - International Friendly match Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images

Antoine Griezmann finally let everyone know that he was not going to join FC Barcelona, but in fact, staying at Atlético Madrid. The drawn-out saga ended with a whimper of a non-event, and a fat check for the Frenchman.

By all accounts, the Barcelona board wanted him badly. They thought, at one point, that his signing was in the bag, and were planning accordingly. Without a doubt, this was a loss for them.

But ask the fans, and I think you get a much more divided picture. In fact, I would venture to guess most fans either actively did not want him, or at least are not too bothered about missing out.

It’s not just sour grapes, you can go look at old Tweets and the like. And it makes a lot of sense.

Griezmann plays best as a secondary striker in a 4-2-3-1. Unless you drop Lionel Messi, that ain’t happening. Sure, he could play on the wing - but are you really going to totally get rid of Philippe Coutinho or Ousmane Dembélé? Sure, you could drop Luis Suárez, but Suárez is still for the time being a world-class player. And once again, these are not the positions that seem to suit Griezmann best.

Of course you’d rather have a world-class player than not, but the opportunity cost is a factor. One hundred million euros is “cheap” for a world-class attacker, but it’s still, well, a ton of money. One you could use to shore up other parts of the team - particularly midfield.

Maybe for the board, this is a blessing in disguise.