Antoine Griezmann to disappoint Manchester United!
Who’s the best players in the world? Well pretty much everyone automatically says Messi & Ronaldo but who would you put 3rd?
It’s a bit trickier, isn’t it? What is frustrating is that none of those players play in the Premiership! My choice would probably be Antoine Griezmann (Atlético Madrid) and he’s one player I thought we would have the pleasure of seeing in the English Premier League come 2017/18 season. But, it doesn’t look like it now. ….
Antoine Griezmann has pledged his immediate future to Atletico Madrid saying it would be a “dirty move” to leave the club after the club’s transfer ban was upheld. The French forward, 26, had been heavily linked with the Premiership and especially Manchester United but any such move now looks likely to be off after the ‘Court of Arbitration for sport’ last week upheld a ban on Atletico Madrid signing new players come this year’s transfer window. They can still sign players, but they won’t be registering new players to be available for selection until January. So, they are going to be reluctant to sell their star players if they can’t buy replacements yet!
What was the ban for? Well Atlético, along with their city rivals Real Madrid, were handed two-window transfer bans in January 2016 for multiple breaches of global football’s rules on the registration of under-18s and both clubs failed in their appeals to FIFA last September.
They both took then took their cases to the ‘Court of Arbitration for Sport’ and Atletico’s fine was reduced from £720,000 to £440,000 but their ban was upheld, while Real’s ban was halved to one transfer window which was last January, so they can make signings now.
FIFA’s investigation concerned players under-18 who played in competitions for Atletico Madrid between 2007 & 2014. They ban the transfers of such youngsters to different countries unless they meet strict criteria. This is to stop children from exploitation and trafficking.
Now, under-18s can only be transferred abroad if:
- The under-18’s parents move to the country the team is based if it’s for non-footballing reasons
- both clubs are in the European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA) and the player is aged between 16 and 18 - even then the buying club must meet more criteria relating to education, training, living conditions and support
- they live within 100km of the club
Antoine Griezmann spoke on French TV programme ‘Telefoot’ and said: “The ruling of the CAS has come through. Atlético cannot recruit. With my sporting adviser, Eric Olhats, we decided to stay. It’s a hard time for the club. It would be a dirty move to leave now. We talked to the leaders and we will be back for next season.”
It’s very dignified of Griezmann to stay, after all, there’s not much loyalty in football these days. He has a £87m release clause in his contract, so if clubs bid that amount, there would be nothing to stop the diminutive forward talking to them, so then we would really see how loyal he is!
Who is he? Well Antoine Griezmann’s career began at Real Sociedad in 2005 signing a youth contract after impressing scouts in a trial match for Montpellier v PSG. Despite being just 14, his parents accepted a youth contract abroad for him and 4 years later he made his debut for Real Sociedad’s 1st team in La Liga 2. After promotion to ‘La Liga’ for the 2010–11 season as championship winners, he became a regular over the next 4 seasons before he joined Atletico for a rumoured £24 million signing a 6-year deal.
The left-footed forward has been a star from day 1 at Atletico scoring 83 goals in 135 games including 26 strikes this season.
Which English teams could afford to bring him to the Premiership? Well, unless players were sold I doubt Liverpool could afford him? Tottenham have a new ground to pay for so unless they cashed in on the likes of Harry Kane or Dele Alli, I’d be surprised. That leaves possibly the 2 x Manchester clubs, Chelsea or Arsenal. But, it’s a lot of money!
Who would he play well with? Well at Manchester United, could you see him linking up with Rashford, Rooney, Martial, Pogba? Or would he want better? I’m not sure they would need someone else as well (if they all stay), but I’m sure they could find it.
Chelsea… Hazard & Costa could be an interesting partnership?
Man City…Aguero, De Bruyne, Silva?
Arsenal… well Mahrez could be an option. Ozil, Sanchez?
He would be a great signing for the Premiership, wouldn’t he? We say we have the best league, but maybe we are still lacking the top, top players, aren’t we? I can’t see Messi or Neymar playing in England. Ronaldo & Bale have both been there, done that and while the latter may come back, Griezmann would certainly up the ante so to speak!
He has balance, style and the ability to glide past players as if they were never there. When he hasn’t got the ball, he hunts the ball like a snake in the undergrowth. He has the design skills of Vincent van Gogh and the instinct of Cantona. He reminds me a little of Thierry Henry mixed with Lionel Messi and at 26, his best years could well still be ahead of him!
Patience may be necessary if we want to see him in the Premiership mind you…