Griezmann's Barca integration has been 'difficult', Vidal acknowledges

By Ryan Benson 12 October 2019
Griezmann's Barca integration has been 'difficult', Vidal acknowledges

Antoine Griezmann's integration at Barcelona has been "difficult" but the Frenchman will justify his signing if given time, according to team-mate Arturo Vidal.

Griezmann joined Barca from Atletico Madrid in pre-season, costing the Blaugrana €120million after a protracted transfer saga.

Barca had reportedly been chasing the France international for well over a year, and although they eventually got their man after being rebuffed in 2018, the start of their union has been unspectacular.

Griezmann's largely ineffective performances have been widely criticised, with many expecting more from him than the three goals and two assists in seven LaLiga outings.

Vidal accepts Griezmann's adaptation could have gone better, though he remains confident in the forward.

"It's been difficult [for Griezmann] to integrate and adapt," Vidal told Sport. "He arrived at the best team in the world with the best players.

"He comes from a side that plays very differently, but he's got a lot of quality. We all know that Griezmann is one of the best in the world.

"What we need to do is wait a little, give him some time. When he knows the best way to play and understands what the coach needs from him, I'm sure he will help us a lot."

While Barca's injury problems in attack have arguably contributed to Griezmann's struggles, they have also given 16-year-old Ansu Fati the chance to step up.

The winger has caught the eye several times with his direct style and ability on the ball, even forcing himself into contention for a call-up to Spain's senior side, which is seemingly just around the corner.

Vidal is an admirer of the teenager but urged caution and stressed the need for the club to shield him.

"He's got a glorious future ahead of him," Vidal added. "He's a very young player but he's already shown so much quality.

"But we must be calm with him, help him and most importantly protect him. He needs to prepare himself properly to be one of the best around.

"You can see he has the necessary quality to be with us."

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