2014/15 has certainly been a fine season for Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann. Diego Simeone’s plucky outfit may not be on the verge of repeating the same domestic successes they achieved in Spain last year, yet their new recruit up-top has nevertheless been one of the shining lights so far throughout La Liga this campaign.
22 finishes across the entire season puts the fiery Frenchman just behind the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Neymar in terms of goals scored this term, which is a pretty impressive turnaround for a player who only arrived at the Vicente Calderon Stadium last summer.
So with everything that Griezmann has achieved so far this season, it comes as no real surprise that a whole host of Europe’s top clubs will supposedly be in for the wide-man come the culmination of the current campaign. Even though both Manchester United and Arsenal have been linked with the Atletico star of late – it seems Chelsea have recently emerged as the new front-runners to land his reported £35 million signature.
In light of such a seemingly routine notion concerning one of Europe’s most exciting young stars, could the rising 24-year-old represent the perfect new addition down at Stamford Bridge in the run up to the new season, or do the Blues even need someone like Antoine Griezmann in the first place?
Well, the answer to the latter part of that question is a pretty simple one: No, Chelsea really aren’t in desperate need of another attacking wide-man ahead of the 2015/16 campaign. Are we all forgetting what happened to the likes of Andre Schurrle, Kevin de Bruyne and Mohamed Salah as they emerged in similarly exciting style at Chelsea in recent years?
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Such players were unceremoniously shown the door at Stamford Bridge despite offering a level of quality and potential comparable to that of Antoine Griezmann. Jose Mourinho’s side are simply so well off in the attacking department, it really would seem like somewhat of a joke if they decided to cherry pick yet another of Atletico’s most prominent stars going into the new season.
As a club they seemingly don’t respect the level of talent they already have on their books. Take the recently acquired Juan Cuadrado for instance. The Colombian joined the Blues for a fee close to £30 million just this January – yet if someone as high profile as Antoine Griezmann were to simply follow him to Stamford Bridge in the summer – what does that say for the former Fiorentina man’s future in west London?
This seemingly ambitious move would also spell trouble for the many emerging youngsters currently plying their trade at Stamford Bridge. As ignoring home-grown talent has become a somewhat hallmark of Chelsea’s approach in recent years though, such a notion will hardly trouble Jose Mourinho with all things considered.
If the Blues are therefore looking to continue their philosophy of ‘spend, spend, spend until we find ourselves in a position to sell off our wasted talent at further inflated prices’, then the advent of signing Antoine Griezmann this summer would likely help Chelsea strengthen their domination of the Premier League.
Yes, it’s not the most sustainable way of going about things – but as the likes of Bayern Munich, Barcelona and Real Madrid continue to apply their same practices year in year out – perhaps Mourinho’s side have no choice but to keep getting out the chequebook if they really want to compete in the Champions League.
Griezmann has become notorious in the Spanish league for his cool composure on the ball, clinical nature in the final third, and daring expertise when it comes to long-shots and searching cross-field through-balls. The quick-footed wide-man therefore offers a great deal to whichever team he represents – and at the decent age of only 24-years-old – a bright future seemingly remains ahead of the ex-Real Sociedad favourite for a good while to come.
Stamford Bridge could then become an exciting new destination for the player in question, both for the club as a whole and for Griezmann individually. Should he eventually make the move this summer, the current Atletico forward would likely prove a strong hit in his first year or so under Jose Mourinho, which really wouldn’t come as much of a surprise.
However, the word ‘temporary’ would be the best way to describe such a deal. As Chelsea invariably get bored of such players somewhere along the line, Antoine Griezmann will likely not last long at Stamford Bridge should he chose to join up with the Blues – regardless of how well he ultimately performs in the Premier League.