13th October, 2019
Just a few days after Diego Simeone offered his opinion about the situation of Antoine Griezmann at Barcelona, someone else has decided to talk about the same topic. That person is none other than a team mate of the France striker – Arturo Vidal.
As far as Vidal is concerned, Griezmann’s integration at Barcelona has been “difficult” but he believes that the Frenchman will justify his signing if given time.
It will be recalled that Antoine Griezmann joined Barca from Atletico Madrid in pre-season, costing the Blaugrana a solid €120million after a protracted transfer saga.
The Spanish giants had reportedly been chasing the France international for well over a year, and although they eventually got their man after being rebuffed in 2018, the start of their union has been somewhat unspectacular.
The former Atletico hit man’s largely ineffective performances have been widely criticized, with many fans expecting more from him than the three goals and two assists he has so far been able to muster in seven LaLiga outings.
Vidal accepts the fact that Griezmann’s adaptation could have gone much better, though he remains confident in the forward’s ability to get better with time.
“It’s been difficult [for Griezmann] to integrate and adapt,” Vidal told Sport. “He arrived at the best team in the world with the best players.
“He comes from a side that plays very differently, but he’s got a lot of quality. We all know that Griezmann is one of the best in the world.
“What we need to do is wait a little, give him some time. When he knows the best way to play and understands what the coach needs from him, I’m sure he will help us a lot.”
Even when Barca’s injury challenges in attack have arguably contributed to Griezmann’s struggles, they have also given 16-year-old Ansu Fati the chance to step up.
On a positive note for Barcelona, the winger has caught the eye several times with his direct style and ability on the ball, even forcing himself into contention for a call-up to Spain’s senior side, which is seemingly just around the corner.
Arturo Vidal is an admirer of the teenager but urged caution and stressed the need for the club to shield him.
“He’s got a glorious future ahead of him,” Vidal added. “He’s a very young player but he’s already shown so much quality.
“But we must be calm with him, help him and most importantly protect him. He needs to prepare himself properly to be one of the best around.
“You can see he has the necessary quality to be with us.”
The next few weeks and games will surely be very important for Antoine Griezmann to prove to the teeming Barcelona fans that the team did not make a mistake in acquiring his services.