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Antoine Griezmann: To forgive or not to forgive, that is the question

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The player damaged relations last summer

FBL-ESP-LIGA-BARCELONA Photo credit should read LLUIS GENE/AFP/Getty Images

So, after all of the toing and froing, endless TV and radio debate, and enough column inches to fill a novel, Antoine Griezmann is finally a Barca player.

Twelve months after he left the Blaugrana hanging, the former Atletico Madrid striker has seen the error of his ways and finally realised that a team which includes Lionel Messi is infinitely better than one that doesn’t.

Costing north of €100m means the pressure is on from the get go, more so because of last summer’s shenanigans, but the French World Cup winner will attempt to assuage the doubters from the first moment he pulls on the shirt.

From a fan perspective, there’s still a large section of the support that don’t believe Josep Maria Bartomeu should’ve afforded him a way out of Atleti, whilst others can look beyond his ‘mistake’ and understand the value he brings to the squad.

To forgive or not to forgive, that is the question.

And it’s not one that can necessarily be answered by banging in goals left, right and centre. That will be the bare minimum that’s expected from a player with his skill set.

No, Griezmann must say and do all of the right things over the first few months, treading on egg shells if he must, to win round those that don’t want him anywhere near the Camp Nou.

The wider issue of course, and this extends to a possible move for Neymar, is the transfer policy of the club.

Whether there is a footballing need for those types of players or if their hire only really makes sense from a marketing perspective.

Perhaps it’s worth in any event - and in both cases - to rewind.

Before Griezmann turned Barca down, albeit in the most disgusting way possible, we Cules spoke in almost reverential tones about having him at the club.

Similarly with Neymar... after everyone’s initial reservations about him being a one-trick pony were put to bed, and before PSG turned his head, he had a genuine claim to being one of the top three players in the world.

We don’t ever have to forget how either of those players acted of course, but forgiveness, for want of a better term, at least allows everyone to move on.

For the good of the team, squad and club as a whole.

If Ernesto Valverde is able to keep all of the egos happy, we are surely a better team with them in situ than without?

A fascinating season awaits...