Spanish reports claim that Antoine Griezmann could be on his way to FC Barcelona as the summer transfer window approaches. If the deal goes through, where would the Frenchman fit in the Barca lineup?
FC Barcelona’s interest in Antoine Griezmann is going stronger by each passing day. The departure of Andres Iniesta at the end of season has led to club looking for players to link with Messi and co. While Griezmann’s transfer speculation have been all over the papers, the question is: where would Griezmann play if he joins the Catalan club?
We look at some positions where Griezmann can establish himself under Ernesto Valverde at FC Barcelona.
In the 4-3-3 formation, Griezmann can be put to the left wing without much thought. The Frenchman has played in this position while he was at Real Sociedad. Griezmann can also link-up with Lionel Messi on the right wing, as he is naturally left-footed.
However, transfer speculations suggest that Luis Suarez could be on the way out to accommodate Griezmann. The latter, hence can also play at the center. Ousamane Dembele silenced his critics in fashion in the game against Villareal, hence could certainly occupy the wing role in future.
However, if Suarez continues to be a Barca player, the front-three of Griezmann, Suarez, and Messi becomes a lethal trio. Dembele, although, will have to spend an indefinite amount of time on the bench in such a case.
The Frenchman has, on many occasions, confided that playing a second striker is the role he has relished the most. In the 4-2-3-1 formation, Griezmann can flourish behind the main man. However, it would be unwise to replace Lionel Messi in such a formation. Messi is a natural number 10 and is second to none in this position.
Griezmann has played at various positions at Atletico Madrid under Simeone. It gives a wide range of options to Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde.
If Luis Suarez stays with the Catalan club, Griezmann can link up at the right wing with Philippe Coutinho cutting through from the left. With Messi in the middle and Suarez above, the Barca front-four becomes as fearsome as any in business.
The Uruguayan striker’s departure could have Griezmann playing up-top, accommodating Ousmane Dembele on the wings.
In the classic 4-4-2 formation, Griezmann can partner with Luis Suarez. With Griezmann, it becomes more of a 4-4-1-1. Again, a more preferable option would be to play the Frenchman on the right, as the left-footed player can easily cut through from that position.
With Suarez, Messi, Griezmann and Coutinho, the French teenager Ousmane Dembele is again sidelined. Given that Barcelona has spent a fortune to acquire the teenager’s services, it would be unwise to keep him out of action. Also, the words of praises from his manager Ernesto Valverde after the game against Villareal signifies that Dembele is in the scheme of things for future.
This leaves us with Coutinho playing in the midfield, with Griezmann and Dembele on the wings. Departure of Luis Suarez would create a problem for Valverde, as they will lack a proper number 9.
It would be interesting to see how Barcelona tackles the wide range of options regarding Antoine Griezmann. The Frenchman has shown his versatility at Atletico Madrid, as Simeone was pushed to play him at different positions due to lack of creativity in the side.
With established players in the side, Griezmann will be demanded a more proficient, and more importantly a dedicated positional role in FC Barcelona.