As per ESPN, Diego Simeone welcomed the opportunity to sign his former attacker and lined up three potential Atletico players in a swap deal in the last transfer window. The Atletico footballers in question were Mario Hermoso, Thomas Lemar and Álvaro Morata.
However, the Barcelona president decided to reject the offer as he said Griezmann was not for sale. It is understood that right-back Semedo also was in contention for a potential deal however he later left for Wolves.
Griezmann’s struggle so far
Griezmann is still valued as a superstar for his achievements with France and former heroics at Atletico Madrid, but he looks like a shadow of his former self and so far he’s a waste of a jersey at the Nou Camp.
Almost 18 months since he signed on the dotted line with the Catalan side, and he’s still yet to make a mark that a player costing well in excess of €100m would’ve been expected to.
Under Koeman’s leadership, things have not changed yet. He has scored two goals and given an assist in nine matches and he has yet to settle into Ronald Koeman’s formation despite the fact he has played both as a winger and a ‘9’.
Why Barcelona should have let him go
With Barcelona in desperate need of getting money in or, at the very least, offloading struggling Griezmann on substantial wages could have been the perfect move by the Barcelona boards.
In exchange, they could have gotten new players with different profiles. Signing Morata could have been an upgrade over Braithwaite or even Griezmann as Barcelona are still searching for a proper number nine following Suarez’s departure.
Hermoso too could serve well in the fragile and injury-ridden Barcelona backline. Moreover, Hermoso’s versatility means he could have been a great cover at both fullbacks also. Thomas Lemar might be the limited link in the trio but he would still be a valuable rotation option.
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