Mon. Jul 6th, 2020

‘Griezmann knows he can do better’ – Under-fire Barcelona star backed by team-mate Lenglet

2 min read

The Blaugrana defender is confident that a man struggling for form at Camp Nou can still win back the adulation of supporters

Antoine Griezmann “knows he can do better”, according to Clement Lenglet, who has backed the under-fire striker to turn around his Barcelona career.

Barca forked out €120 million (£109m/$135m) to bring Griezmann to Camp Nou last summer after a lengthy transfer saga, and tied the prolific frontman down to a lucrative five-year contract.

The France international was among the top goalscorers in La Liga season in, season out while on Atletico’s books, but has so far been unable to live up to the same high standards in Catalonia.

Griezmann has only scored eight goals in his first 31 top-flight outings for Barca, having been asked to adapt to an unnatural role on the left-hand side of a front three alongside Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi.

The 29-year-old has struggled to strike up an understanding with the talismanic pair, and teenage winger Ansu Fati is now threatening to take his spot in Quique Setien’s starting XI.

Lenglet acknowledges the fact that the former Atletico star is failing to live up to expectations, but still believes he can rediscover his best form if he continues to work hard behind the scenes.

The Barca defender told Le Parisien: “Antoine is well integrated in the dressing room, there really is no problem. On the pitch, he himself knows he can do better.

“But we must not forget his statistics. He has still scored 14 goals and created several assists.

“For a first season, it’s not bad. But, for Antoine, he is playing in a different style to what he was better used to at Atletico, and he is a player with whom we are very demanding.

“But I see him working hard in training, it can only get better. It’s always the same when a Barca striker doesn’t score for two games, that’s he’s in trouble.

“When he scores two goals, it looks like Super-Antoine is back.”

Barca are currently locked in a tense title race with arch-rivals Real Madrid, who are sitting top of La Liga by two points with only six fixtures left to play.

Setien’s men are also still in the hunt for Champions League glory, and Lenglet has named Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain as his “dream” opponents if Barca make it all the way through to the showpiece event in Lisbon in August.

He said: “A Barca-PSG final would make you dream … provided that Barca wins it, of course.”

Lenglet, Griezmann and Co. will be back in action when Barca play host to Atletico in a must-win La Liga clash on Tuesday night.

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