Coutinho vs Griezmann – How their career starts at Barcelona compare

BARCELONA, SPAIN - JULY 14: New Barcelona signing Antoine Griezmann poses for the media as he is unveiled at Camp Nou stadium on July 14, 2019 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

Barcelona signed Antoine Griezmann from Atletico Madrid in the summer as a direct replacement for Philippe Coutinho who left for Bayern Munich in the same transfer window.

Stats reveal that Antoine Griezmann hasn’t been an improvement on Philippe Coutinho during his first three months as a player of FC Barcelona.

The Catalan giants signed Griezmann for $130m in the summer after activating a release clause in his contract with rivals Atletico Madrid. Ernesto Valverde was hoping that the French World Cup winner would be an improvement on Coutinho who joined Bayern Munich in the same transfer window.

Coutinho was signed by Barca in January 2018 from Liverpool in a £140m deal, with the midfielder himself paying £11.5 million of his transfer fee to expedite his move to the Camp Nou. However, as his departure for Munich in the summer showed, the Brazilian proved to be a huge disappointment in La Liga.

And as the below-mentioned stats indicate, Griezmann hasn’t been performed any better during his first three months at the Camp Nou. The former Atletico Madrid striker has managed the same numbers which allowed the club’s faithful to decree Coutinho as a failure signing.

Griezmann isn’t an improvement on Coutinho

Vom FC Barcelona zum FC Bayern - Philippe Coutinho.
BARCELONA, SPAIN - JANUARY 30: Philippe Coutinho of FC Barcelona celebrates after scoring his team's third goal during the Copa del Quarter Final match between FC Barcelona and Sevilla FC at Nou Camp on January 30, 2019 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

During the first stretch of their careers at the Camp Nou, Coutinho featured in 1080 minutes while Griezmann has so far played in 1047 minutes for the club, reports Marca.

In addition to getting almost the same amount of game time, both Coutinho and Griezmann scored the same number of goals (4) and provided the same number of assists (3) in their first three months of playing for the Catalan giants.

While Griezmann has been applauded by the Barcelona-based press for his defensive contributions, stats reveal that when compared with that of the Brazilian, the former Atletico Madrid striker is contributing almost the same defensively.

The former Liverpool midfielder managed to register 32 ball recoveries in his first 1080 minutes for the Catalan side, with Griezmann managing only two more in the same amount of time. Also, while Griezmann has attempted 17 shots of goal so far, the current Bayern Munich loanee went for goal 17 times in the same period.


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Griezmann has got plenty to prove

Granada feiert, Weltmeister Antoine Griezmann und der FC Barcelona bleiben ratlos zurück..
GRANADA, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 21: Antoine Griezmann of FC Barcelona reacts during the Liga match between Granada CF and FC Barcelona at Estadio Nuevo Los Carmenes on September 21, 2019 in Granada, Spain. (Photo by Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images)

While stats never tell the whole story, they still paint a worrying picture for the French World Cup-winning striker for two major reasons.

First of all, unlike Coutinho, who moved to Spain in January and didn’t have the luxury of a full pre-season to prepare him to match Barcelona’s gameplay, Griezmann arrived in the summer and went with the club on its pre-season tours.

Secondly, while Griezmann has been playing in La Liga for much of his career, Coutinho hadn’t played a minute of football in Spain before his move to Barcelona. The Frenchman, therefore, has advantage over the Brazilian who wasn’t familiar with the demands of Spanish football.

Both these facts make it clear that Griezmann has plenty to do between now and the end of the season if he wants his numbers to be better than what Coutinho managed during his 1 ½ year stay at the club.

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