Updated on September 27th, 2021 at 07:20 am
Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman is sure that the team will cope despite Lionel Messi’s departure, and has hinted that Antoine Griezmann may fill in for him.
Despite Messi’s departure, Koeman is optimistic about the forthcoming season, believing that the group has the quality to compete in LaLiga even without the Argentine.
‘We are very pleased about this new season, despite the farewell to Leo Messi,’ he remarked following his side’s 3-0 pre-season triumph over Juventus, according to AS.
‘We are confident that we will bring you a lot of joy this holiday season. We will accomplish the utmost with a lot of help, a lot of sacrifice, and a lot of hard work. We understand what it means to be a Barcelona fan and what this club stands for.’
The Argentine’s exit appears to be going to leave a large hole in Barcelona’s attack, but Koeman has hinted that Antoine Griezmann can step in and fill the void.
‘Having the greatest is crucial, but we don’t modify our ways of thinking or playing.’ Griezmann has performed admirably in his role.’
Since his £107 million move from Atletico Madrid to the Nou Camp in 2019, the Frenchman has struggled to link up with Messi and has faced criticism from the fans, despite scoring 20 goals in 51 games in all competitions last season.
Last week, a group of enraged supporters greeted the forward on his way to training, yelling, ‘It’s your fault Messi is gone.’
If Griezmann stays at the club this summer, it will be a significant turnaround from rumours that Koeman was eager to sell him in order to reduce the club’s crushing salary cost.
He has been linked with a return to previous club Atletico Madrid, as well as Manchester City and Chelsea, according to Spanish media.