Thomas Lemar has said France teammate Antoine Griezmann’s decision to stay at Atletico Madrid and his praise for the club helped convince him to join them.
Lemar became Atletico’s most expensive signing when he arrived from Monaco in a €70 million deal this summer.
“It’s obvious that chat from Antoine and also from Lucas Hernandez, speaking to me about the club and telling me it is really good to advance and continue my career, helped me to choose Atletico,” he told Spanish newspaper Marca.
Asked whether his arrival had had anything to do with Griezmann’s decision to stay, Lemar said: “I know he really wanted me to come and he’s happy that I’m here so that we can do good things this season.”
Griezmann is a candidate for the Ballon d’Or after winning the Europa League and then helping France to victory at the World Cup, and Lemar said: “It [Griezmann winning the award] is what I expect to happen and something I wish with all my heart.”
Meanwhile, Lemar said he did not feel any pressure at Atletico because of his big price tag.
“I say that the figures are between the clubs. I don’t have anything to do with that,” he said. “I just have to do my work on the field and everything will go well … or so I hope.”
The midfielder said he had not found it difficult to settle in at his new club, praising the help of his teammates.
“I’m not a complicated person,” he added. “It’s much easier with players like Diego Costa, who is really crazy, and Koke. They are fantastic people.
“Later, when Antoine and Lucas arrived, I spoke French with them and everything became much easier.”