A ntoine Griezmann has shown off a fresh new look after leaving Barcelona and completing a move back to former club Atletico Madrid.
The new Atletico No. 8 has cut off his long hair and gone for a much shorter look as he prepares for life back with Diego Simeone’s side at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium.
Griezmann sealed a deadline day move back to Atletic on an initial loan with a purchase option. The Rojiblancos will have to buy Griezmann if he plays 50% of the matches he is available for, as reported by transfer expert Fabrizio Romano.
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Koeman Talks Griezmann Exit
Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman has spoken about Griezmann in a new interview with Diario Sport in the wake of the Frenchman’s summer exit. The Dutchman said he understood the club’s financial problems meant the club had to offload players.
Left-back Emerson Royal also left on deadline day for Tottenham Hotspur and Koeman realized he had to put the club’s interests before his own.
“Yes, it was the same [as with Emerson], with the additional problem that it happened on deadline day, with very little time to find a solution,” he said. “It was not great. Griezmann had a big contract and if he left, it helped the club financially. For that reason, I accepted his exit.”
Barcelona also moved to bring in a striker after seeing Griezmann leave. Dutch striker Luuk de Jong competed a loan move to the Camp Nou on deadline day from La Liga side Sevilla.
Laporta Says Griezmann Was The Wrong Fit
Barcelona president Joan Laporta has also shared his thoughts on Griezmann and feels the Frenchman was never quite the right fit for the Catalan giants. He told Onze that Griezmann’s attitude couldn’t be faulted but he just wasn’t the right player for the club, as reported by Get French Football News.
“I think that everyone was expecting more from him, because he gave everything and didn’t have a questionable attitude,” he said. “We know what kind of player he was and is, he’s a great player. I think he didn’t fit in our system, but I think he showed a very good attitude. I sent him a message wishing him well, because he’s always had the correct attitude. In footballing terms he wasn’t the player we needed. He scored goals – I think the one he scored in last year’s Copa del Rey that we won was very important – but it’s true that he could have given more. But he was under difficult circumstances.”
Barca is now set for a new-look attack following the departures of Griezmann and Lionel Messi this summer. Summer signing Memphis Depay has already staked his claim for a regular spot with two goals and an assist in his first three La Liga outings.
The Netherlands international has also been in red-hot form during the international break, scoring twice against Montenegro and bagging a hat-trick against Turkey in World Cup qualifying.
Koeman must now find the right mix in attack and will have his options boosted shortly. Attackers Ansu Fati, Ousmane Dembele, and Sergio Aguero are all still sidelined with injury currently but are due back in the coming weeks.