July 17, 2014
The Times’ reports that Tottenham are holding a strong interest in Real Sociedad’s Antoine Griezmann and that the club are supposedly willing to match the 23 year-old’s release clause.
The same paper also claims that Bayern Munich are pursuing the player and, for obvious reasons, that’s left many skeptical over Tottenham’s chances of actually signing the French international.
Forget the identities of the clubs and think more about the levels of the game that Spurs and Bayern Munich represent: at this stage of his career, Griezmann would be better suited to a club of Tottenham’s size.
Griezmann is unquestionably a star of the future and his last two seasons at Real Sociedad have proven that he really is more than just hype, but be careful in believing that he is already a finished product. Despite his encouraging performances at the World Cup – where he only really started because of Franck Ribery’s absence – he’s not yet ready to compete for a place in a squad as talented as Bayern’s and if he was to move to the Allianz Arena he would be confined to the periphery of the team.
Griezmann’s best position is as a wide-forward, and Bayern aren’t exactly struggling in that area: ArjenRobben and Ribery are natural first-choices for Pep Guardiola, and with Robert Lewandowksi’s arrival at the club Thomas Muller will also become an option in one of those positions.
Even if he converted into a full-time central playmaker, he would still have to contend with Mario Gotze and Xherdan Shaqiri – really, Bayern Munich is a locked door for anyone who isn’t truly special.
You will not find a bigger Greizmann fan than me, but he does not yet possess the complete game to get in front of any of those players – and why spend the next few years of his career as a bit-part when, given his talent, that kind of move will surely still be available to him in the future?
That doesn’t mean that he’s heading to Tottenham – in fact, experience tells us that he’s almost certainly not – but a club of that stature would be a good-fit for Antoine Griezmann. Regular football at a relatively ambitious club where he can play alongside some equally talented attacking players? There are worse options out there.
He seems determined to leave Sociedad this Summer and it would make sense for him to climb the football pyramid on a step-by-step basis – and, if he does want to keep his place in the French national team and sustain his current rate of development, then he is going to need to play every week.
He will get to the top of the game, of that I have little doubt, but he needs to time his arrival properly.