Antoine Griezmann has been the surprise package of this year’s La Liga campaign.
Anyone who watched the young Frenchman for Real Sociedad will tell you there really was no surprise but even the expectations placed on him following a €30 million summer move were exceeded, replaced and exceeded yet again. Griezmann’s "ceiling", as they say, in terms of projected greatness, has Pogba, Hazard and others looking over their shoulders.
It is no great mystery as to why Chelsea would be sniffing around the attacking midfielder but Atletico Madrid, Griezmann, and indeed Chelsea themselves, have reasons to not go for the deal.
EURO 2016 AND REGULAR FOOTBALL
Juan Cuadrado, one of the stars of the World Cup, joined in January and hasn’t seen much playing time in his first six months. Jose Mourinho tends to stick to what he knows best, moreso than even Diego Simeone, and this might be a tough nut to crack for Griezmann and certainly not worth the risk heading into a major tournament year.
The acclimatisation period for Greizmann comes at the wrong time in his career when he looks to really announce himself onto the World footballing stage with France.
THREE TEAMS IN THREE YEARS?
Stability can be the key to any players success and as talented as the young man is, tinkering too much with a player’s surroundings can be detrimental to all kinds of development.
Take a look at Gareth Bale, for example, and you can see man devoid of confidence with the home fans on his back. How will he respond? There is hope that he is strong enough to overcome the obstacle but it might not be the case.
The same must be said for Griezmann. He is at the Vicente Calderon, where he is known and loved, and must accept that the grass is not greener at every turn he takes.
His advisers are surely aware of this and confident in his ability that there will still be suitors in a year or two years time when he is ready to make his next move into a foreign country and more physically demanding league.
ATLETICO MADRID’S MAIN MAN
Griezmann has been a revelation with Atletico Madrid this year but it didn’t start off as swimmingly as it is going to end. There was a time when he didn’t have the correct balance of power and fitness and Simeone simply didn’t trust him.
It would take all of fifteen league games before he started and finished one and only recently has he been starting and finishing games regularly.
With Mario Mandzukic looking set to leave the Calderon, (or whatever, I’m not really sure) Simeone will have told Griezmann that he is his main man next year with tactics tailored to suit his speed and versatility in attack.
With 25 goals in all competitions after an adverse start, the possibility is that Griezmann can start to accumulate Ronaldo and Messi like stats next season and beyond. Let’s see where the bidding starts if Griezmann is to add another year of first team football to his frame along with those kind of numbers.
CHELSEA DON’T NEED HIM
Aside from the fact that we are assuming that Chelsea want him, the reality is that Chelsea don’t really need him. He has turned into more or a secondary striker, which is something that Jose Mourinho doesn’t play with. He is being asked to take one of Hazard, Oscar, Willian, Cuadrado or Cesc Fabregas’ role.
He is good enough and would start over four of those players, if the environment is right and he settles in straight away, but do Chelsea really need to strengthen too much in this respect? Juan Cuadrado’s purchase in January is being looked upon as ill-conceived and it would be a risk for Mourinho to fork out another €50 million for a youngster who has not proven himself in the Premier League.
Truth be told, It hasn’t stopped Chelsea before but if Griezmann sniffs the possibility that it is another attempt at them hoarding players to sell them later for a profit, after using them minimally, he will bail on any offer from them.
LOYALTY TO DIEGO SIMEONE
What’s loyalty in modern football, right?
Diego Simeone seems to be able to extract it from all of his players. He demands it and in return gives a coaching experience that is second to few.
Griezmann’s comments on the Argentinian do not guarantee anything but he has spoken openly of the help that Simeone has been to his progress and development.
"I always say that I needed a coach like Simeone to progress. He encourages you non-stop, he gets the best of you because the player has no doubts in giving his all for him and the team"
While also saying that:
"I knew that people were expecting a lot from me due to having been the second most expensive signing of the club’s history, so I have been trying to give back that trust on the field, to make the fans and my teammates happy"
He is also aware of his contract situation, along with the amount of time and effort that has been put into his development. He is Atletico de Madrid’s main man and Simeone is right when he says the club do not sell their prize assets after just one season when they are in contract until 2020.
None of this is to say it won’t happen but these are my reasons as to why I think it is highly unlikely at this point in the young Frenchman’s career.