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.
Much was expected of a key player in the Monaco side that won Ligue 1 in the 2016-17 campaign, while he too has a World Cup winners’ medal on his CV with France from Russia 2018.
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.
“I’m not going to say that it’s hard, but it’s a strength that will allow me to go above and beyond.
“What can be said about me does not affect me too much. I know what I have to do. The club wanted me.”