Pires Is Right – Griezmann Would Be Better Off At Arsenal Than At Manchester United

Ever since Arsene Wenger took over at Arsenal, there have been many French players that have donned the Gunner colours; some to good effect and some of them failing. Another Frenchman, Antoine Griezmann has been linked with a move to the Premier League. Manchester United, in particular, have been interested in him since the Euro 2016 tournament which was staged in his native of France. Griezmann put on a good showing and earned himself the ‘Player of the Tournament’ award.

Such performances obviously put him on the radar of numerous top clubs, but the Frenchman has opted to stay with Atletico, at least for another season. So far this term, he has 18 goals in 36 club appearances and has been working hard to do away with all the transfer rumours, at least for the time being. However, it looks highly likely that he will depart the Vicente Calderon in the summer when many top clubs are expected to come calling for his services.

While many feel that he is headed to Old Trafford to join his international colleagues Anthony Martial and Paul Pogba, Arsenal legend Robert Pires is of the opinion that Griezmann should instead make the move to Arsenal, where he feels the forward will be more successful. He has in the past said that his next destination depends on whether that club can afford him Champions League football.

Now, this is quite an interesting conundrum as both Arsenal and Manchester United find themselves out of the top 4 currently. They need to make up for lost ground on their opponents. Under such circumstances, it’s difficult to envisage as to where Griezmann will move to. The chance to play under his compatriot Arsene Wenger would surely appeal to Griezmann. Besides that, there are many Francophone players within the Arsenal squad, so fitting in wouldn’t be a problem.

But on the evidence of what Pires has spoken of and taking into consideration Griezmann’s exploits so far in his career, we take a look at which is the best destination for the prolific Frenchman. The temptation to line up alongside megastar Paul Pogba is a looming prospect. But Manchester United of late, are pretty well stocked in the wide and forward areas.

Although Griezmann could be the perfect foil for Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s burly prowess, he would find it tough going at Manchester United simply due to the expectations placed on his shoulders. Look at Paul Pogba for instance. He was supposed to come in and simplify the midfield region, but it has been anything but simple as Pogba has struggled to justify the tag and living up to the expectations of being the world’s most expensive footballer.

On the other hand, Arsenal are in need of some freshness in the attacking department. As it is, it’s looking more and more likely that one of Ozil or Sanchez (god forbid, both) could be quitting The Emirates. Although both players are of a different class and are irreplaceable, Griezmann would do a tidy job at filling in for either of the two. Lucas Perez has failed to get off the mark as he’d have liked too.

All these factors point Griezmann’s future towards London, where Arsenal would be better suited to his talents. He would also get to learn considerably under Arsene Wenger. And it is somehow possible to imagine that in the event that Griezmann does move to Arsenal, Sanchez and Ozil will likely stay put at the club and form an exciting attacking unit with Griezmann.

This is a mouth-watering prospect for any Gooner. Arsene Wenger has recently come under a lot of criticism for his stubborn and rigid ways. The Champions league qualification looks dull with just 12 games remaining in the season. First thing first, they will look to end the season on a high and later focus on summer recruitment. All Wenger needs to do is put in a considerable, serious bid for his compatriot and that could be the first step in a long process of a re-vamp at Arsenal, and a much-needed one that.


Written by Vamsi Krishna


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