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Griezmann’s forgettable performance shows why Barcelona need Braithwaite

Dane came up trumps again

FC Barcelona v Getafe CF - LaLiga Santander Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

One cost in excess of €100m, the other arrived at the Camp Nou as an emergency signing to account for the loss of Ousmane Dembele.

And yet, if you watched the match against Getafe, you’d be hard pressed to know which category Antoine Griezmann and Martin Braithwaite fell into.

The Frenchman had one of his worst games in a Barca shirt and there was little to say about his performance other than that.

Compare and contrast it to the Dane. Once again Braithwaite was happy to do the donkey work for the good of the team and at the expense of his own personal gain.

FC Barcelona v Getafe CF - LaLiga Santander Photo by Pedro Salado/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

It never made any sense for culers to want Braithwaite out of the exit door as soon as the summer transfer window opened.

He may not be first choice once everyone is fit, but he’s a superb addition to any squad.

He’ll fight for every ball, bring others into play at every opportunity and always give his best.

Is he ‘Barcelona quality’ whatever that means? You’d probably have to say no. However, you’d take someone with his aggression, energy and purpose over a prima donna every single time.

Griezmann doesn’t set the transfer fees of course, and that probably shouldn’t be held against him.

However, there is an expectation for any player that costs a certain amount.

In the Frenchman’s case, being a World Cup winner also acknowledges a certain level of excellence.

He has had games where his defensive efforts have rightly drawn the plaudits, but Sunday afternoon wasn’t one of them.

FC Barcelona v Getafe CF - LaLiga Santander Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

With respect, Getafe, for all of their doggedness, shouldn’t be the most difficult of opponents, and nothing stuck whenever the ball was played into Griezmann.

Rarely involved, it was an instantly forgettable performance.

Moving forward, when the likes Ansu Fati and Philippe Coutinho return, there’s a legitimate question that needs to be asked as to whether Griezmann even gets a starting spot.

It still isn’t clear what his best place is in the team either. Is he a second striker, winger, attacking midfielder? It’s never really been defined.

Braithwaite isn’t a thoroughbred, but he’s a proper old school centre-forward with pluses and minuses to his skill set.

When all Barca need at present are players that will put a shift in, in the trenches, it’s the Dane that has to get the nod every single time.

And that’s an incredible indictment on a player who was once being talked about as a future Ballon d’Or winner.

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