Without a shadow of a doubt, Antoine Griezmann is an incredible talent. The Frenchman is widely regarded as one of the very best players on the planet and he has been an integral member of Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid side since joining the club in 2014. In fact, you could even argue that Griezmann, now 25 years old, ranks alongside the likes of Gareth Bale and Luis Suarez in the pecking order behind Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.
Griezmann enjoyed a tremendous individual 2015/16 campaign, notching a sensational 39 goals in 67 appearances for club and country. However, some fans appear to have forgotten just how key he was to both Atletico and France; mainly as he was on the losing side in both the Champions League final and European Championship event on home soil.
Despite those particular setbacks, the Frenchman has managed to regain his form in front of goal and he has already nearly reached double figures this season. As of December 22nd, he is sitting pretty at the top of Atletico’s goal scoring charts this season – although compatriot and summer signing Kevin Gameiro is hot on his heels.
If truth be told, it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see Griezmann push for a move away from the Vicente Calderon at the end of the campaign, especially with Gameiro coming into a bit of form. Griezmann is still Atletico’s main man but he could leave the club in the coming months if one of the Premier League’s top clubs come knocking; and they almost certainly will if he is available for the right price.
According to reports, Griezmann has an £84 million release clause and Manchester United have been linked with a move for the 25-year-old next summer. United, who spent a world record sum of £89 million to re-sign Paul Pogba from Juventus back in August, have already given Jose Mourinho plenty of financial support but they will be looking to make a marquee signing before the beginning of the 2017/18 campaign.
As of December 22nd, United are fifth in the Premier League table; 13 points behind current leaders Chelsea. The Red Devils, priced at 20/1 with Sportsbet.io to win the title this season, could do with somebody like Griezmann to give them another dimension in attack. On his day, the Frenchman is capable of unlocking the best defences on the planet and linking up with compatriots Pogba and Anthony Martial could help him to settle in England.
Meanwhile, Chelsea and Manchester City have also been linked with a move for Griezmann – and a bidding war between England’s top three spenders could ensue. Atletico won’t want to sell Griezmann but a world record fee could tempt the Spanish giants; especially if they continue to find ways to win matches without their talismanic winger. Simeone would have to tweak their style of play but Atletico would still be strong with or without him…
Antoine Griezmann has matured into a household name in recent years but a move to the Premier League could see him cement his place as one of the modern greats. Atletico have enjoyed domestic and European success since Simeone took over but they have ultimately failed in their bid to end the Barcelona-Real Madrid monopoly in Spain – and it might be time for a change in personnel.