How history could repeat with for Atletico and Barcelona in cost-cutting cull for Griezmann
Last summer, Luis Suarez left Barcelona in a bit of a huff to join Atletico Madrid in what turned out to be a very unfortunate move for the selling club. The Uruguayan went on to score 21 LaLiga goals for the Rojiblancos to help deliver the title to Atletico Madrid.
The top scorer in the Barcelona team in LaLiga last season after Lionel Messi was Antoine Griezmann with 13 goals. So of course, Barcelona let the French forward leave for free to Atletico Madrid in the final seconds of transfer deadline day.
Two years after joining the Camp Nou club for $120 million, Griezmann has returned to Atletico Madrid on a loan deal. With the departure of Lionel Messi, Barca have lost 43 LaLiga goals in one summer with no money received in return.
Mann, what a day.— Atlético de Madrid (@atletienglish) September 1, 2021
🔴⚪️ #Griezback pic.twitter.com/3rQvI2ELEx
But it's all good news for Atletico Madrid though, who had to do their own bit of wheeling and dealing in the final minutes of Tuesday night by loaning Saul Niguez to Chelsea to balance the books - a club not in LaLiga and therefore not a direct rival.
The question now in regards to the destination of the LaLiga title this season is whether the Barcelona Curse or the Griezmann Curse will be dominant. The Barcelona Curse sees the club doing its very best to give Atletico Madrid a title chance through hand-me-downs. The Griezmann Curse means that which ever club signs the player won't win the title.
Koeman shows Dutch courage on deadline day
With Barcelona getting Antoine Griezmann's salary off the club's very stretched books - and some volunteer squad pay cuts - two strikers were able to be signed. The first was Sergio Aguero who had remained unregistered despite joining at the beginning of the transfer window. That has now been rectified although the Argentinean who was looking forward to playing alongside Messi is not fit until at least October.
𝙍𝙀𝘾𝘼𝙋 !! Final day of transfer window:— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) September 1, 2021
🤝6:20pm Transfer: @IlaixMK to @RBLeipzig_EN
🤝6:55pm Loan: Rey Manaj to @acspezia_en
🤝7:30pm Transfer: @Emerson_Royal22 to @SpursOfficial
🤝1:22am Loan: @AntoGriezmann to @atletienglish
🤝3:30am Loan: @LuukdeJong9 from @SevillaFC_ENG
The second forward to join in the early hours of Wednesday morning in Spain was Luuk de Jong who joins on loan from Sevilla. De Jong has scored a mere 10 goals in 69 LaLiga games over the past two seasons but happens to be Dutch, along with Ronald Koeman. So that helps.
No move for Mbappe
While deadline day was drama city with Cristiano Ronaldo to Manchester United being confirmed as well as Eduardo Camavinga going to Real Madrid, Wednesday's edition of L'Equipe summed up the news from PSG and Kylian Mbappe - "the Non-Transfer of the Century."
PSG bounced back any offers from Real Madrid for the French forward who will now have at least a season playing alongside Lionel Messi and Neymar - on beIN SPORTS, yay! The Ligue 1 side will be hoping that this is enough to coax Mbappe into signing an extension to a contract that runs out in the summer and sees the footballer available for free.