Why Barcelona Swapping This French World Cup Winner For Inter’s Argentine Would Be A Blunder

BARCELONA, SPAIN - FEBRUARY 15: Antoine Griezmann of FC Barcelona celebrates after scoring his team's first goal during the La Liga match between FC Barcelona and Getafe CF at Camp Nou on February 15, 2020 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Eric Alonso/Getty Images)

According to a recent report by Italian publication TuttoSport, La Liga giants Barcelona are said to be lining up a summer move for the services of Inter Milan’s Argentine striker Lautaro Martinez. The report suggests that the attacker could cost the Blaugrana in the region of £94m and that he’s been identified as a good option to partner upfront with national team compatriot Lionel Messi.

The report claims that Inter Milan, in response to the Catalan interest in Martinez, have demanded the exchange of French World Cup winner Antoine Griezmann for the deal to take shape. It is said that Antonio Conte is ready to sell Martinez to Barca in the summer, provided the La Liga club sanctions Griezmann’s move in the opposite direction.

What Is Antoine Griezmann’s Current Situation At Barcelona?

The French superstar was signed from La Liga rivals Atletico Madrid for a hefty fee of £107m. Despite some early signs of promise, it’s safe to say that the Frenchman has failed to hit the massive expectations that were placed on his shoulders before arrival. Predicted to be the natural replacement for Neymar in the Barcelona front-three, the attacker is yet to make a real impact since his move to the Nou Camp. The Frenchman has scored eight goals and set up a further four in his Barcelona career so far.

BARCELONA, SPAIN – FEBRUARY 02: Antoine Griezmann of FC Barcelona looks on during the Liga match between FC Barcelona and Levante UD at Camp Nou on February 02, 2020 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

Why Is Lautaro Martinez Such An Attractive Prospect For Barcelona?

Apart from the fact that the striker is Lionel Messi’s national teammate, Lautaro Martinez has come to be known as one of the best young finishers in European football at the moment. The 22-year-old came through the Racing Club academy but has made a real name for himself since sealing a move to the Serie A with Inter Milan in 2018. An excellent runner off the ball, Martinez has picked up an impressive tally of twelve goals and three assists this season.

Why Barcelona Shouldn’t Give Up Griezmann In Exchange For Martinez?

Despite all the poor displays the French star has put in recent weeks, he is still undoubtedly one of the biggest game-changers in the footballing world. His exploits with Atletico Madrid and the French national side have become the stuff of legends, and there’s an obvious reason why the Barcelona chiefs decided to pay upwards of £100m to bring the attacker to Catalonia.

MILAN, ITALY – FEBRUARY 12: Lautaro Martinez of FC Internazionale looks dejected during the Coppa Italia Semi Final match between FC Internazionale and SSC Napoli at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on February 12, 2020 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images)

Moreover, Griezmann has been a regular in the La Liga for many seasons now, having spent most of his developmental years at the Real Sociedad academy. The forward grew up playing football the Spanish way, and it’s only a matter of time before he hits the same heights that he did in Madrid for all these years. At 28, the Frenchman has the right balance of experience and quality to really step up his game in the coming months and prove to Quique Setien that he’s worth waiting on.

Most importantly, though, it has to be considered that Lautaro Martinez is still only 22. The youngster has spent most of his playing career so far in Argentina and has only been in the European scene for a little under two years.

There’s also the issue of La Liga teams being a lot more technically adept than most Serie A outfits. Martinez could find the transition into a much more tactical league quite hard, especially considering all the competition that he’ll have to beat out at a club like Barcelona. As good as the Inter Milan man has been, exchanging the striker who scored in the recent World Cup final for an unproven 22-year-old, would, simply put, be blasphemous.

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