3 reasons Barcelona should not sign Antoine Griezmann
With a €120m (£105m) release clause and tireless speculation that has surrounded the Frenchman's future in recent seasons, this latest announcement was surprising - as in his last summer's documentary - he said he was happy to stay and extended his deal to 2023.
However, recent developments have alerted the attention of various suitors - not least La Liga champions Barcelona, who were reportedly close to signing him twelve months ago.
Despite their undeniable quality, Barca are always hungry to improve: not least after a remarkable Champions League semi-final exit at the hands of Liverpool earlier this month. Without further ado, here are three reasons why the Blaugrana would be wise not to splash the cash on Griezmann this summer:
#3. When it matters the most, he's too inconsistent
Well, the headline says it all really. Griezmann is an excellent forward, one of the world's best, but doesn't showcase his ability on a consistent enough basis to warrant Barca activating the Frenchman's buyout clause.
With 21 goals in 47 appearances across all competitions this term, it's a respectable tally - until you delve deeper into the stats and fully break them down. He has netted eight league goals in 2019, over a five-month span where Atletico have played 19 games.
In total, he has 15 in 36 and truthfully, those numbers suddenly don't look too impressive anymore, do they? He often goes three to five games without goals and when you're the best player on a title-chasing team, that level of production just isn't good enough. Yes, he plays in a variety of different attacking roles. Even still, he doesn't create as many chances as he should for his teammates either - who are far from slouches by the way!
His efficiency and decision-making in the final third hasn't really improved significantly over the years and despite possessing that match-winning quality, this has been his worst campaign in terms of goal output in Spain's top-flight since 2012/13 (10 goals, 34 games) - during Antoine's penultimate season at Real Sociedad.
As for assists created (all comps), they've also seen a slight drop-off - his lowest since the 15/16 season. Barcelona really cannot afford to sign an expensive passenger for the games that matter most.