After 25 minutes, Ousmane Dembele came off injured for Barcelona against his former club Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League on Wednesday.
This is his second injury this season after missing five weeks due to a previous injury he picked up during the start of the season.
It hasn’t been a good season so far for the young Frenchman and he hasn’t been the only attacker in the team who has had injury issues of his own.
Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, and Ansu Fati have all been injured at different points this season as well as Dembele for Barcelona and it affected their start to the season especially in the La Liga. Those four players have so far missed at least eight weeks of action combined this season.
In that time they have had only one attacker who remained constant and never visited the sidelines – Antoine Griezmann.
The French forward came on and scored on Wednesday what was only his fifth goal in 18 games (Transfermarkt) this season. Based on his reputation and the €120m fee used to secure his services, that is considered a poor return.
There were a lot of reports before and after Griezmann was signed that Messi and Suarez wanted Neymar to be bought instead but ultimately a deal never materialized.
The injury issues of these key players who are already in the squad would have probably been taken into context in making the decision to sign Griezmann instead of Neymar.
The Brazilian himself has not been entirely free from injuries either. Neymar has been out injured for more than half of the total days in 2019 as per Marca. He might be talented, perhaps more talented than Griezmann but if he’s not playing then what’s the point of the talent.
A sad scenario that has been the summary of Dembele’s career at Barcelona as well.
For his fellow Frenchman, It is quite the opposite. Griezmann is incredibly durable and rarely gets injured. Along with his immense reputation which he has built at Atletico Madrid and the French national team coupled with his experience in La Liga, he was really a no brainer for the Catalans on many counts but reasons like these are why he was the more viable superstar for Barca to cash in on over the summer.
Soon enough, It will be expected that after Lionel Messi, Griezmann becomes the second most important part of the Barcelona team especially with Luis Suarez getting older, more injured often and also being linked with a move to the MLS in the near future.
After Griezmann’s goal on Wednesday, the 28-year-old would be in good spirits and would get the opportunity to make his first big statement in Barcelona colours as he returns to the Wanda Metropolitano to go up against his former employers Atletico Madrid.
It is still too early in Griezmann’s Barcelona career to say time is running out for him to impress. The stellar performances will come but they need to come quickly as nobody knows when the next injury crisis will strike for the team.
Griezmann might still have a long way to go in justifying his price tag but his fitness could yet prove to be an invaluable asset for the team.