Atlético trigger second year of Griezmann loan deal
Atleti makes the Frenchman’s second year on loan effective, a possibility offered by the contract. The purchase option is for the summer of 2023.
Antoine Griezmann will remain at Atlético for the new season, the club officially announced on Wednesday. The news didn’t come as a big surprise, but the final part of the process to keep the player at the club is now complete. Atleti triggered the clause included in the loan agreement with Barça to extend Griezmann’s contract for another year. That clause stated that the loan could be extendable for a second year by either party. Griezmann celebrated the news himself by posting a simnple message on his social media account - an emoji of a red ball, the colors of Atlético, and an ‘ATM’ sign. His message couldn’t be clearer.
The French forward is one of Atleti’s great strengths and has the full confidence of Simeone and his team mates. In 12 months’ time, in the summer of 2023 Atlético will be obliged to buy him from Barcelona - on conditions that a set of requirements are met, such as playing at least 50% of the team’s matches. In the first season of his loan, Griezmann played whenever he was available. That looks likely next season although he will face tough competition for a place with João Félix, Correa, Cunha and, at least for now, Morata.
A six month plug
Nobody can doubt Griezmann’s quality, although his numbers last season were the worst of his career - just three goals in LaLiga, eight in total - far from his personal best, figures which earned him the Bronze Ball in 2018 and a World Cup winners’ medal with France. Having said that, the 2021-22 season was atypical as it was the first Griezmann experienced getting over a long-term injury. A Dani Carvajal challenge in the Madrid derby in December left him out for three weeks. He returned with a goal, against Majadahonda in the Copa del Rey, then suffered a relapse and was out for a month and a half. He returned showing his usual effort but had zero in goals to show for it. One of Simeone’s main challenges when the team reports back on 10 July, is to help Griezmann rediscover his old form during the squad’s pre-season in San Rafael. It will involve a lot of hard work but hopefully Griezmann can deliver as he usually does, with goals. His second year on loan at Atlético is now a reality.