La Liga 2016/17: 5 things for Antoine Griezmann to consider before joining a new club
Linked with Europe's biggest clubs, Antoine Griezmann could find himself on the move soon. But should he really leave Atletico?
Right now, Antoine Griezmann is a man in demand. Heavily linked with a move away from Atletico Madrid – the club he’s called home since the summer of 2014 – at the end of last season following his starring role for France at Euro 2016, Griezmann decided to stay at the Vicente Calderon for another season at least, where he’s currently hit 26 goals in 52 appearances across all competitions.
Griezmann recently claimed that the only club he’d leave Atletico for is NBA side New York Knicks – which obviously isn’t going to happen – but despite his claims that he’s perfectly happy at Los Rojiblancos, speculation still exists over his future with the likes of Manchester United and Real Madrid rumoured to be tabling world-record bids for the Frenchman.
Griezmann may well decide to move to pastures anew this summer, but here are five things he ought to consider before he does.
#1 The physicality of the Premier League
The Premier League and French strikers have always gone hand-in-hand – just ask the likes of Eric Cantona, Thierry Henry, Sylvain Wiltord and Louis Zaha. Currently, of course, France’s Olivier Giroud forms the fulcrum of Arsenal’s strike force. Griezmann though has primarily been linked with Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea – probably the only three clubs in England that could afford him.
Before making a move to England though, Griezmann should probably be aware of the treatment he’d receive at the hands of the Premier League’s defences – and from the Premier League’s more lenient referees.
The last striker to move from Atletico Madrid to England was Diego Costa, and obviously, he’s been a huge hit, but Costa is also a very different player to Griezmann. A physical bruiser, Costa can mix it with the world’s most brutal defenders and always holds his own, often coming out on top.
Griezmann though is a player who doesn’t really rely on his physical side, preferring to use his speed, movement and finesse to find his way to goal. The stats show that this season in the La Liga he’s made 35 appearances and has drawn 31 fouls – around one per game – but this would likely go up in the Premier League if he were faced with defenders like Ryan Shawcross and Younes Kaboul.
Throw in the more lenient refereeing style of England and Griezmann might find it tough going should he arrive in the Premier League.