Five reasons Manchester United must sign Antoine Griezmann

Ask Premier League fans who they would most like their club to sign and nine times out of ten the answer would be either Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo – obviously.

However, with neither looking likely to leave Spain anytime soon, the likes of Manchester United, Chelsea and Manchester City must assess other realistic options.

Over the weekend, Atletico Madrid superstar Antoine Griezmann announced that if he had to move on from the Calderon it would be for either another Spanish club or a side in the Premier League.

The French forward even admitted in November that he regularly asks compatriot Paul Pogba about life at United after the midfielder signed on the dotted line at Old Trafford in the summer.

With the Red Devils struggling in front of goal this season, despite landing Zlatan Ibrahimovic at the beginning of July, Jose Mourinho must ensure they don’t miss the boat on Griezmann.

Griezmann is heading into his peak years and United must do everything in their power to prevent the talismanic 25-year-old joining a rival should the opportunity come about.

1. Stats suggest United are desperate for a world-class finisher

The Red Devils sealed the marquee signing of free agent Ibrahimovic in the summer and, subsequently, many fans assumed the league title was already wrapped up.

Despite scoring seven goals in 12 appearances, though, stats regarding the quality of the striker’s finishing will no doubt come as a great concern to Mourinho.

Since October 1, United have had the most amount of shots of any team in the English top flight (91) and yet have only managed three goals (19th in the top division).

Griezmann’s tally of 22 goals in both the 2014/15 and 2015/16 campaigns suggest he could be the man to ease Mourinho’s woes up front.

Whether the Portuguese boss given the funds to secure such a move, though, is another matter entirely.

2. United need a replacement for Ibrahimovic when his contract expires

Considering United signed Ibrahimovic when he was aged 34, it can be argued that the criticism the forward has faced has been excessive.

The iconic Swede signed a one-year deal at Old Trafford but Mourinho has already confirmed that the club are looking to extend his contract to see him through to 2018.

Regardless of whether Ibrahimovic is handed a new deal, though, the Red Devils must start chasing a genuine world-class attacking talent for when the striker’s time is up – surely Griezmann is that man.

Wayne Rooney’s days as a rampant centre-forward are over and the likes of Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial will need an experienced head to take the pressure off during their vital development years.

3. Griezmann has consistently spoken in glowing terms about United

It’s no secret that Griezmann is an admirer of the Red Devils and he’s publicly admitted as much on several occasions.

As well as revealing he constantly quizzes Pogba on life in Manchester, Griezmann has also admitted that his boyhood hero was Red Devils legend David Beckham.

United need a quality forward and Griezmann appears keen on a transfer to Old Trafford – a move would appear inevitable were it not for his £85million release clause at Atletico which stands in the way.

Ed Woodward must decide if it’s worth splashing the cash on the attacker before his contract runs out in 2021.

4. He’s the perfect partner for Pogba

Following United’s 1-1 draw with West Ham on Sunday, a stat began doing the rounds which ‘proved’ Pogba and Ibrahimovic were made for each other.

The duo have created the most chances for each other (16) than any other two players in the English top flight this term but this hides the fact that neither are finishing off these chances.

Remarkably, Pogba’s assist for Ibrahimovic at the weekend was his first in the Premier League since completing a world-record £89m move from Juventus.

Pogba will be crying out for a player of Griezmann’s quality in front of goal – it helps that they know each other inside out from growing up together through France’s age groups.

5. It would send out a statement to Manchester City and Chelsea

United re-signing Pogba for a world-record fee at the beginning of August sent a signal of intent to their rivals and proved that they mean business once again.

The side have undoubtedly lost their edge since the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson but there was a feeling that they were on the right path when Pogba strode back through the doors at Old Trafford.

While the midfielder hasn’t quite had the start he would have hoped, the move sent a serious message to the likes of Chelsea, Manchester City, Real Madrid and Barcelona.

If a opportunity is made available with Griezmann, United must do everything possible to get a deal over the line.

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