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Antoine Griezmann: The player on everyone’s mind

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Where will the Atletico Madrid star end up next?

FC Barcelona v Club Atletico de Madrid - La Liga Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images

On Tuesday evening, Antoine Griezmann announced his departure from Atletico Madrid at the end of the season in a viral video. And, now the question on everyone’s mind: Where will he go next?

It has been just 12 months since the ‘Griezmann-to-Barca’ saga, a superfluous narrative that dragged on throughout the entire summer, only for it to end with the player staying put in the Spanish capital. But this time around, Griezmann cut out his childish behavior and prevented all the transfer rumor talk with a simple video, one where he explained he will no longer rep the Rojiblanco shirt the following season. With his departure out in the open, the cards are all once again back on the table for Barcelona. The offices at Camp Nou are more than confident they can get his signature before other clubs start throwing cash at him, and are also aware the player himself is very keen on joining the Catalan club.

If he does make a move, what would that mean for the striker and Lionel Messi’s best friend, Luis Suarez? And what about Philippe Coutinho? Surely, the club cannot afford the wages of both of these superstars, meaning the Brazilian will most likely be shown the exit door in the upcoming months. And to dive even deeper into a potential Griezmann signing, do the fans approve? The answer to that question is a surprisingly clear ‘yes’. The majority of culés are counting down for his Camp Nou arrival. Yet, I can’t help but wonder how that same player that all Barca supporters clearly despised after his immature antics last summer is now being showered with praise and seems to be the man to apparently have the winning formula in his pocket for Champions League success.

Barca should sign Griezmann

There are several reasons to back his signing. First, the striker is at his peak and if Barca want to become successful on the European stage then Messi would need an elite associate up front. It would also make Luis Suarez work harder and give him real competition in his position. Griezmann has the ability and status to bench the Uruguayan but at the same time also has the qualities to compliment him on the pitch. The current Atletico Madrid man can play in any position in the attacking third, covers a lot of distance and helps the defense by tracking back. He is at his physical peak, which will be needed especially in the fast-paced and aggressive Champions League matches. It goes without saying that the French world champion could bring smiles to the culés, yet flipping the coin, there also lies several reasons to go against his move to the Blaugrana side.

Barca shouldn’t sign Griezmann

It’s a no brainer that Griezmann is a world class footballer and arguably in the top five bracket, but he isn’t a player cut out for Barca. The Catalans have a certain style implemented in their players’ heads, and despite the recent fade to their philosophy, it’s still very much alive and Griezmann, who has played a direct style of football for the past five years at Atletico will have difficulties adapting. Adding him to the team’s roster would also dry out any possibilities of La Masia products like Abel Ruiz getting a go on the grand stages. And not to mention, the forward is 28 years old. If the team plan to build a team around Messi then a player of his age wouldn’t be the right pick.

Lastly, let’s also not forget Johan Cruyff’s renowned quote “If you have second thoughts on playing for Barcelona, you are no longer of service to us.” This very much applies to Griezmann after what occured 12 months ago in his “La Decision” movie. However, culés seem to be at their lowest point after that painful and dreadful Champions League exit against Liverpool and don’t seem to care. They demand the Frenchman to play alongside Messi and Co. at all costs, a major sign of desperation after the humiliating scenes last week at Anfield.

The summer transfer market is right around the corner, and all but certainly, a Griezmann move is in the Barcelona air, but would it be the right move for the club?