Barcelona’s new signing could possibly take over Antoine Griezmann’s attacking role if he fails to adapt soon.
On Saturday (June 13), Barca made its official LaLiga return at Son Moix and thumped Real Mallorca 4-0. Captain Lionel Messi once again had an efficient game and even scored a goal for the Catalans. However, his co-attacking star Griezmann was a bit off his game.
Griezmann’s summer last year was one of the most wonderful periods of his professional career. Barcelona made him the second most expensive signing in the club’s history. Right then and there, the Frenchman’s role in Barca has been crystal clear – to help Messi and Luis Suarez in attacking.
But despite the long break due to the pandemic, Griezmann proved that he still hasn’t adapted to being back on the pitch. In the Mallorca match, it was Suarez who was expected to give way for the club’s newest signing, Martin Braithwaite. However, Goal reported that it was Griezmann who actually found himself lost in the team’s attacking force.
Braithwaite had an impressive Barca debut and even scored his first goal for the Catalans. The report further noted that Griezmann could be at risk of losing his place in Barcelona 's starting line-up if Braithwaite will continue to perform the Frenchman’s role.
Overall, Griezmann has been undeniably hardworking. In fact, on two separate occasions during the first half, he sprinted back to help out his defense. However, Barcelona didn’t appoint him to strengthen their backline. Instead, they bought him to add more weight to their attack. Unfortunately, Griezmann still hasn’t put on a consistent and impressive display for the club.
Braithwaite, on the other hand, was the opposite. He immediately proved his worth by running off the ball, which significantly created space for his teammates Arturo Vidal and Frenkie de Jong to capitalize. On top of that, Braithwaite also showed that he could be a goal scorer as well.
The former Leganes striker’s first goal for Barca came in the 37th minute, after Messi had nodded the ball into his path. After the game, Braithwaite revealed that scoring a goal in a Barca uniform was an incredible moment. However, he is more focused on winning games than scoring.
“It is incredible to score my first goal for Barcelona. But it's more important to restart the season with a win. We are pleased with the result, but we have to continue to play like this and win games,” Braithwaite told El Chiringuito (via Daily Mail) after the Mallorca game.