There was a period of time in which many people believed Gareth Bale was destined to become a Manchester United player, mostly because of his idol, Ryan Giggs, who is one of the greatest legends in United history. However, eventually, he moved to Real Madrid and became a massive success there as Manchester United dwindled in the post-Ferguson era. Now, with Jose Mourinho, Paul Pogba, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the new era has come very soon at Manchester United, and it seems a player on the other side of Madrid could be on his way next summer.
The player I’m speaking about is, of course, Antoine Griezmann, Atletico Madrid’s talisman and one of the best players in world football. Pogba is already a great player, but Griezmann is in the highest echelon of world football, carrying Atletico in La Liga and the Champions League and carrying France to the Euro finals, scoring the most goals and winning the award for the best player in the competition.
Griezmann, growing up, was considered too small in France, and he defied the odds in Paul Scholes-esque fashion to become a threat with his incisive pace, tricky dribbling, incredible shooting and even aerial ability. His idol is David Beckham, which explains why he always wears long sleeves and adores the number seven shirt. Recently, he gave United greater hope of signing by separating from his agent, or so the Manchester Evening News seems to believe from these quotes:
“From now I’m going to operate without an agent. But I will always have the advice of my father and also my mentor, Eric Olhats.”
I don’t completely understand how separating from an agent can give a completely unmentioned club greater hope of signing. If he had joined forces with Mino Raiola, then I’d be expecting him to be half way in the door. That being said, there’s something to be said about the ability to decipher when there is real interest from two parties at the highest level, and it seems to be there with Griezmann. Compare the interest levels of say, United’s links with Neymar, which was clearly a no-goer, with the interest in Bale and James Rodriguez, which looked possible but not concrete in any way- then, compare that to Pogba and it is easy to see the difference. Antoine Griezmann seems close to the Pogba levels of likelihood.
Griezmann is great friends with Morgan Schneiderlin, along with Paul Pogba, and he’s also friends with Anthony Martial, with whom he could form a prolific partnership at United. I’d love to see Griezmann at United because of the player he is- well-rounded, high quality works incredibly hard and scored 32 goals last season in an Atletico side that doesn’t attack much. He’d be a great player to replace Ibrahimovic or even pair up with him the way he did with Olivier Giroud at the Euros.
Griezmann seems the natural successor to Wayne Rooney, a player who seems to have no place in United’s side because he doesn’t want to be sitting on the bench and he was, well and truly, ousted with United’s 4-1 win over Leicester. He wants the Ballon d’Or, and in introducing him to United’s team, United will have a ridiculous team capable of competing with anyone. If this happens, I will be happier than I was after this summer, though United will probably need to smash a world record.