'Griezmann will show everyone Barcelona is for him' – Umtiti backs France compatriot to shine at Camp Nou

The defender has backed his club and country team-mate to deliver the goods despite a difficult beginning to life with the Blaugrana since his arrival

Antoine Griezmann will “show everybody that Barcelona is for him”, says team-mate Samuel Umtiti, in response to the slow start the France international has made to life at Camp Nou.

The veteran striker joined the Blaugrana from La Liga rivals Atletico Madrid in one of the biggest transfer moves of the year ahead of the current campaign and is expected to face his old side for the first time on Sunday.

However, with just four goals in 12 top-flight games, he has struggled to shine in attack for the club, with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez both faring vastly better in the opposition box so far.

Now however, Umtiti – who played alongside Griezmann last year in France’s World Cup triumph in Russia – has back his compatriot to settle and deliver the goods in due course.

“It’s not difficult to integrate at Barcelona with the players that are here,” the defender told Telefoot. “With all that we could win, we remain humble, and simple in our approach.

“He is a very smart player and he’s going to show everybody that Barcelona is for him. People who know football know what he’s good at and how he can help us.

“He’s been able to prove it but we have to let him ride out any rough weather [in his form].”

Umtiti has seen his chances restricted for much of this season under Ernesto Valverde due to injury but has now returned to action, with an eye to tying down a regular place once again.

“It’s behind me now,” he added on his lay-off. “I’ve done everything I can to forget all that.  I think I’m on the right path.”

In his absence, Valverde has called upon Clement Lenglet, whose impressive form has seen him also plug Umtiti’s gap in Didier Deschamps’ most recent Les Bleus squads.

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The 26-year-old however is determined to reclaim a spot in the squad for next year’s European Championships, where France have been drawn in the so-called “group of death” alongside holders Portugal and former world champions Germany.

“I have several goals including [reaching] Euro 2020,” Umtiti noted. “I will do everything to be in the squad.

“There are discussions with Deschamps and he looks at what I do on a daily basis. I’m getting ready to answer when I’m called.”

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