Last Updated: August 23, 2022, 21:34 IST
Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann has not yet spent full 90 minutes on the field this season but the French striker has still managed to create a big buzz in the summer transfer window. Barcelona are reportedly worried about Griezmann’s lack of match-time. According to multiple media reports in Spain, Barcelona believe that Atletico Madrid are intentionally benching Griezmann in order to avoid buying the World Cup-winning footballer.
The 31-year-old forward had returned to his former club Atletico Madrid ahead of the 2021-22 season in a two-year loan deal. And the contract reportedly includes a purchase option of around €35 million if Griezmann manages to play 50 per cent of Atletico Madrid’s matches during the two-year long loan spell.
Griezmann has come on as substitute in the first two La Liga games. In the opening La Liga game against Getafe, Griezmann came onto the pitch in the 62nd minute. And he needed just 13 minutes to find the back of the net. Atletico Madrid had eventually won the away game by a convincing margin of 0-3.
In the next encounter, Griezmann came on again in 62nd minute but he failed to do anything impactful as Atletico Madrid had to endure a shocking 0-2 home defeat against Villareal.
Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone recently provided a big update on the future of Griezmann. Simeone expressed his desire to have Griezmann in the squad in future. “He’s adaptable because he has good vision and he works hard. It allows us to play with another attack-minded player. Let’s hope he stays with us. We all know how much I love him and how important he is for the club and the team,” Simeone said as quoted by ESPN.
The 2021-22 La Liga season also did not prove to be too fruitful for Griezmann after he managed to score only three goals and register four assists. Griezmann, during his second stint at Atletico Madrid, has played 38 matches and scored nine goals.
Griezmann had joined the Blaugranas ahead of the 2019-20 season. He had signed a five-year deal which included a whopping £717 million release clause. Griezmann had signed a new five-year deal in July 2018 for Atletico Madrid but later he changed his mind and announced that he would be joining a new team. The former Real Sociedad striker represented Barcelona on 102 occasions and netted 35 goals.