The former midfielder thinks that the Frenchman is more than capable of playing in attack as the Catalans look to deal with the Uruguayan’s absence
Gus Poyet does not think that Barcelona need to panic buy and sign a replacement for Luis Suarez in the January transfer window, with Antoine Griezmann capable of stepping in for the injured Uruguayan striker.
Suarez will be out injured for four months leaving the Catalan giants short in attack, with Inter striker Lautaro Martinez, who is the club’s primary target, only a realistic option for the summer.
And former Real Zaragoza midfielder Poyet thinks that Griezmann, who has yet to hit top form at Camp Nou since his move from Atletico Madrid, is an excellent option to replace Suarez in attack.
“The Suarez situation is 100 per cent similar to Harry Kane’s injury at Tottenham, there is no difference,” Poyet said at the launch of LaLiga TV in London. “The problem at Barcelona is that they can’t find a player who accepts to sit on the bench until the day that Suarez is not playing.
“They couldn’t find that guy. They have a player in the club who can replace him in Griezmann so I wouldn’t be too desperate to find a striker. It is a matter of what Quique Seiten wants.”
Barcelona have made the decision to replace Ernesto Valverde, who had won two successive league titles and had Barca sitting top of La Liga on goal difference, with Quique Setien and Poyet thinks getting Lionel Messi on side will be one of the main priorities for the new head coach.
“It is quite surprising to see the change of manager but it happens these days,” he added. “Seitan has a very, very clear philosophy of football. He was always talking about Johan Cruyff with his style of play and approach.
“All us coaches like to get to that point [of being able to handle different egos] and then we try to make our philosophy work. You don’t know if it will work, though. When you get Messi in front of you then you need to sort out the problem of connecting with him to get the best out of him.
“In saying that, it is his time as well. It depends on the next four months as then there’s presidential elections next year and you never know what happens with the coach after that.”
Poyet also commented on fellow countryman Federico Valverde’s emergence at Real Madrid, with the 21-year-old hitting the headlines for his red card that denied Alvaro Morata and Atletico Madrid in the Supercopa de Espana final.
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“It was nice to see Uruguayan players making a foul from behind, we never did it before and won’t do again,” Poyet joked. “He is a terrific player, a great boy. He is very calm and down to earth. He wants to play his football, he tried away from Madrid to go on loan and do something different.
“Everyone was talking about other players coming to Madrid but he has worked slowly to make it difficult for Zidane to pick his three midfielders. Valverde is constantly pushing with Kroos and Modric. For Uruguay seeing him play in Madrid is something extraordinary.
“I have met him; It is something we haven’t seen for many years – a Uruguayan playing in Madrid.”