With Messi wanting the ball at his feet, and Suárez being more static with a reduced radius of action, it’s indispensable that the third component of the front 3 knows how to move into space.
At the start, Griezmann didn’t seem appropriate for this role. He just looked like ‘another Messi’, in terms of needing to have the ball and occupying central zones at the edge of the box. With time, however, he has learnt to be effective off the ball and not be desperate when he doesn’t have it at his feet.
Antoine is assuming better how to play with and for Leo. His timing is improving and his positioning is getting much better. Being a left-footed player on the left is not easy, especially for someone, like Griezmann, who must get into shooting positions as much as possible, but he is now understanding how to be at the right place at the right time.
He moves into space much better and is an element to add depth, while Jordi Alba is the one who provides width. The Frenchman is constantly repeating the same incisive movements between the centre-back and full-back, attacking the half-spaces and hurting the opposing defences with these perfectly measured runs.
As Valverde said, “Griezmann is getting better and better. At first he moved too much, it was a matter of patience because we move the ball until we find the right spaces”. It’s not only about being productive on the ball, but mostly working and being useful out of it.