France boss Didier Deschamps has claimed that forward Antoine Griezmann is currently ‘not happy’ with the role he is being asked to play at Barcelona under Ronald Koeman.
Griezmann endured a difficult first season at Barça, often operating out of position and struggling to really influence matches. This was expected to change under Koeman – particularly following the departure of Luis Suarez – but he has continued to be deployed in an unnatural position.
The World Cup winner has started his side’s first three La Liga games so far this campaign, but has operated out on the right in all three. Griezmann was unable to complete the full 90 minutes in each of these matches.
Now discussing his current situation, France boss Deschamps has revealed that he is convinced Griezmann is not happy with the role he is being asked to play at Camp Nou. Speaking ahead of France’s friendly match against Ukraine on Wednesday, Deschamps said, as quoted by Mundo Deportivo: “I am convinced that he is currently not happy with his situation at Barcelona.
“If I were to comment on it, I think Koeman would not be happy to hear it. I’m not talking about what happens in the clubs, or at Barça or any other. They are using him in a system, in a position on the right side, something that has happened on other occasions.
“And it is not because of Koeman’s way of thinking, since he said that he did not understand why at Barça he did not play in the centre, but with the players he has, he must necessarily adapt. I know Antoine very well and I also had to put him aside. He can do it because he is very generous and runs a lot, but where he is most effective and most decisive for his team is in the centre.”
The 29-year-old is yet to find the back of the net this season, while he has not provided an assist either. There was an expectation that Griezmann would be the man to replace Suarez up front, operating as a ‘false nine’, but Lionel Messi has been tasked with this role.
It is up to Koeman to find the solution to bring the best out of Griezmann, but at this moment in time, he is continuing to struggle.