Antoine Griezmann scored in six consecutive matches between mid-December and mid-January, an impressive run and one which led many to start once again uttering the term “Griezmann-dependence.” Atlético are a one-man team in attack, so the story went.
This, however, is not true.
Lucas Hernández and Santiago Arias’ goals against Huesca took the total of different rojiblanco goalscorers across all competitions up to 17, an impressive tally for a team with such a small squad. Only three outfielders with over 100 minutes to their name have failed to score — the defenders Juanfran, Stefan Savić and Francisco Montero.
Compared to other LaLiga teams, Atlético have more unique goalscorers than every other club except Levante. There have been 13 different Atleti scorers in league play this campaign, which is the second-most and only one behind Levante’s league-leading 14 different scorers.
It’s not just Griezmann, but of course the Frenchman is the team’s top goalscorer with 15 strikes to his name. However, you’d have to be a really big Diego Costa or Nikola Kalinić fan to have expected anything else. The No.7 is the team’s best outfielder and their attacking leader, but there are others who can help him out. Costa, Kalinić, Koke and Ángel Correa all have at least four goals each this season, while Thomas, Rodri, Saúl Ñíguez, Thomas Lemar, Diego Godín and Filipe Luís have each put the ball in the back of the net more than once.
Across the first 20 matches of the 2018/19 LaLiga season, Griezmann has scored 30 percent of los colchoneros’ goals. That’s obviously a significant proportion, but there are seven other clubs with a greater reliance on one individual. Girona lead the way in this regard, as Cristhian Stuani has been behind 52.2 percent of their goals. That’s followed by Espanyol and Borja Iglesias, Athletic Club and Iñaki Williams, Rayo Vallecano and Raúl De Tomás, Barcelona and Lionel Messi, Getafe and Jorge Molina and Celta Vigo with Iago Aspas.
For there to be seven other teams with a striker who scores a greater proportion of his team’s goals than Griezmann shows that the 27-year-old isn’t actually “one-maning” his way to success.
Even when it comes to assists, Griezmann leads the way — as he should — with eight assists across all competitions, but there are 12 other players to have also set up a goal and every one of them except for Kalinić, who has just one assist, has set up at least two.
Atlético turn to Griezmann to a reasonable extent. But they’re not absolutely dependent on him — there are many others who can make things happen in the final third as well.