Malta Independent

Lemar hopeful Griezmann stays at Atletico


Thomas Lemar hopes Antoine Griezmann will still be an Atletico Madrid player next season, while the winger accepts he has more work to do to fully adapt to life in LaLiga.

Griezmann rejected the overtures of Barcelona to remain with Diego Simeone’s side, announcing his decision via a bizarre documentar­y in June last year.

However, Atleti have once again been off Barca’s pace in the fight for the title in LaLiga, while their Champions League hopes were extinguish­ed in the last 16 by Juventus.

That has led to renewed speculatio­n that World Cup-winner Griezmann will depart for Camp Nou in a bid to assuage his desire to win the game’s biggest prizes at club level.

Lemar, while urging Griezmann to stay, does not know what his France team-mate has planned, telling Telefoot: “If you want to know, you have to ask him.

“I do not know anything at all. I hope he stays, I just signed, I do not even ask the question for the moment.”

Lemar scored an 85th-minute winner as Atleti left it late to down Eibar 1-0 at Ipurua on Saturday.

That was just Lemar’s third goal in 26 LaLiga outings since joining from Monaco, while he has contribute­d only two assists to Atleti’s top-flight cause.

And Lemar recognised the need for improvemen­t in a new environmen­t.

“I’m at a new club, I have to adapt to a new game system, a new league, and it does not happen overnight,” he added. “My season is not exceptiona­l, but you have to be very alert defensivel­y, it is the requiremen­t of Atletico.”

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