Manchester United’s chase of Atletico Madrid star Antoine Griezmann was one of the talking points of the early weeks of last summer’s transfer window, with Jose Mourinho having identified the French forward as the ideal addition to his attacking ranks at Old Trafford.
However, a deal never materialised as Griezmann chose to stay put at Atletico out of loyalty, as the club were hit with a transfer ban. After the 27-year-old decided to stay put at Atletico, United opted to bring in Romelu Lukaku, while Alexis Sanchez moved to Old Trafford in January from Arsenal.
On Wednesday, Griezmann was the star of the show as his brace helped Atletico seal a 3-0 victory over Marseille in the Europa League final. After his dazzling display against Marseille, the Frenchman showed once again as to why he is considered as one of the best attackers in Europe.
Griezmann is tipped to leave Atletico, with him being heavily linked with a move to Barcelona in the summer transfer window.
Following Sanchez’s addition in January, Mourinho dismissed the prospect of United signing any more attacking players in the summer. Despite the Portuguese’s claims, United must break the bank to sign Griezmann before the start of the new season.
The French forward is one of the gifted players in Europe and would walk into every elite club’s starting XI. Before moving to Atletico, Griezmann was a raw, untamed talent at Real Sociedad. After moving to Atletico a few years ago, he has turned into one of Europe’s superstar forwards.
Griezmann at Atletico has been a success story, no doubt about it, but the 27-year-old’s burning desire to continually taste success and lift trophies makes him a perfect player for United to sign.
Currently, at United, Mourinho has the likes of Romelu Lukaku, Anthony Martial, Alexis Sanchez, Marcus Rashford, Jesse Lingard and Juan Mata as options in attack.
Considering the pool of talented attackers, it is tough to see Griezmann fitting in but let’s get one thing straight, there is no harm in getting the best players at a relatively affordable price. Griezmann, who has a £86m release clause, is indeed one of the best and would bolster the United squad.
There is always a worry that Mourinho would blunt the instincts of an attacking player. However, Griezmann is a well-rounded player who would directly fit into Mourinho’s philosophy due to his fantastic work-ethic and winning mentality.
The French international is a clinical finisher, capable of setting-up chances for his teammates and scoring different types of goals. Due to his versatility, Griezmann can play anywhere across the attack and never shies away from doing the defensive duties, which Mourinho expects out of every player.
Atletico Madrid are highly unlikely to sanction the sale of their prized asset to their direct rivals- Barcelona. This should come as a boost to United and encourage Mourinho to swoop in for an exciting player in Griezmann if he becomes available in summer. Surely, the Frenchman can fire Manchester United to the Premier League title.