Antoine Griezmann has been perennially linked with top European clubs such as Barcelona and Manchester United for several years now. Most fans and journalists believe he is destined to make the next step up from Atlético Madrid sooner rather than later. With that in mind, he almost certainly would have joined the Red Devils last summer were it not for Los Colchoneros’ FIFA-imposed transfer embargo. But would this have been the right career move for him?
The short answer is yes, because he is much better suited to playing under José Mourinho rather than in Catalonia, where his every move would be for the good of Lionel Messi’s chances of scoring. Just as Argentina national team coach Jorge Sampaoli recently said he couldn’t field Juventus star Paulo Dybala alongside the Rosario native because they are incompatible, the same goes for the former Real Sociedad man.
Griezmann would be much happier in the Portuguese coach’s 4-2-3-1 system, where he would have greater freedom to cut in from the flank and unleash shots at goal, instead of almost being forced to link the play up via Messi. This is no slight on the little man – arguably the greatest player the world has ever seen – but the two of them are unsuited to lining up together.
On the flip side, if there is one thing the Old Trafford’s dazzling array of attacking options is lacking, then it is a dynamic left-footed wide player who can add pace and power to counter-attacking situations. Alongside the likes of Marcus Rashford and Romelu Lukaku, there is no reason why the addition of the Frenchman wouldn’t catapult United back to the summit of English football.
It would, at the very least, put them in a much better position to mount a sustained challenge on their rivals who, led by Pep Guardiola, look like running away with the title this season.