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Arsene Wenger believes Antoine Griezmann could 'lose heart' if he continues to be played out of position at Barcelona

FC Barcelona star Antoine Griezmann
FC Barcelona star Antoine Griezmann
Sai Teja
ANALYST
Modified 21 Oct 2020, 21:41 IST
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Arsenal legend Arsene Wenger believes that Antoine Griezmann could potentially 'lose heart' if he continues to play out of his preferred position at Barcelona.

The French superstar moved to the Nou Camp from Atletico Madrid last year after the Blaugrana activated his €120m release clause. However, it has been anything but smooth sailing since his Barcelona switch after a frustrating debut campaign at his new club.

His current manager, Ronald Koeman, is the third coach to take charge of Barcelona during Griezmann's time at the Nou Camp, and he is yet to be played in his position of preference by even one of them. This season is no different, and the forward has gotten off to a poor start to his second season at Barcelona after failing to score in his first four league games.

Wenger believes that should this continue, things could get much worse for the Frenchman.


Wenger discusses Barcelona star Griezmann's best position

FIFA
FIFA's Chief of Global Football Developmen, Arsene Wenger

Speaking on his compatriot and how he could be best utilised on the pitch, the former Arsenal legend expressed;

"Not playing in his [Griezmann's] position is complicated in the long-term. At first, the kid accepts it but if he doesn't fulfil expectations in the long-term and he feels the position he's playing doesn't allow him to express his best qualities, he loses heart."

Wenger went on to discuss the type of player that Griezmann is, highlighting his strengths and the roles that he is best suited to carrying out. The 70-year-old continued,

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"He's a player that should be in the middle because he's active, he's a good passer, he can be dangerous with his final pass, and for the fact he scores goals. But there's congestion in that area because it's the zone where [Lionel] Messi moves."Β 

Griezmann has been vocal about being played out position regularly under Ronald Koeman. After France's 2-1 win over Croatia during the most recent international break, the 29-year-old took a subtle swipe at the Dutch manager saying he feels comfortable playing for Les Bleus as manager Didier Deschamps 'knows where to play him'.

Koeman responded to his comments as well, saying that he only has the team's best intentions in mind while selecting his XI. The former Everton and Valencia manager explained;

"I have spoken with Antoine [Griezmann] and I told him that I'm looking out for what is best for the team. I think he's most effective on the right for us. He can play in three positions. He could also play as a No 10 or a No 9. In fact, when I was the Netherlands boss, in a game against France, he played on the right against us – which is the same at Barcelona."
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Koeman reminded Griezmann that it is the Dutchman who is in charge, saying that the Frenchman must adapt to Barcelona's needs.

The 57-year-old Barcelona boss continued,

"I have no problem with Antoine. I can only play one player in each of the three attacking positions. I do not play any players out of position. Griezmann can play wide coming inside on his left foot. If he has another position that he likes more, that is the situation, but we cannot have 10 players in the same role [No 10]."
"I decide based on what's best for the team. The coach is in charge and the players must be at their best when they play."

Barcelona and Griezmann prepare to host Real Madrid in their crucial LaLiga Santander encounter next up.


Also read:Β 10 Biggest Ballon d'Or wins in football history

Published 21 Oct 2020, 21:41 IST
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