See premier league clubs willing to pay big for Griezmann.


Last season saw Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann catapult himself into the pantheon of the world's elite footballers, becoming a potential Ballon d'Or contender alongside the likes of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

The France international starred in Atleti's run to the Champions League final, while he was also voted player of the tournament at Euro 2016 in his homeland over the summer.

Both campaigns ultimately ended in disappointment for Griezmann, with Atletico being edged out by rivals Real Madrid in the Champions League final, and France suffering a shock defeat to Portugal in the final of the Euro 2016.

But on a personal level, the 25-year-old's stock has never been higher, and he is now being reportedly linked with a potential switch to the Premier League. The Football Whispers Index is giving the possibility of Griezmann joining Chelsea a score of 2.6 out of five, while Manchester United are also believed to hold an interest in the player and are rated at 1.2.

Both clubs have shown that they are willing to spend big in order to secure top stars in recent years, so it stands to reason that they would be interested in a move for the Atletico superstar.

Griezmann joined Atletico in the summer of 2014 in a €30 million deal from Real Sociedad. He had been at La Real since his mid-teens and broke into the first-team at the Anoeta as a speedy left-winger.

Making his debut as a 19-year-old in September 2009, Griezmann quickly became a vital part of the San Sebastian side's climb from the Spanish second division into La Liga that season, making 39 appearances and scoring six goals.

Over the next four seasons, Griezmann continued to develop as his influence at Sociedad steadily grew. His final season at the club saw his goal-scoring instincts start to come to the fore as he scored 20 goals in 50 games.

And it was in that scoring touch that Atleti boss Diego Simeone saw even greater potential for Griezmann, and, two years ago, the Argentinian decided his new signing would be better utilised in a central role.

Since then, Griezmann has netted 50 times in 81 La Liga games. In that period, only Ronaldo, Messi and Luis Suarez have scored more.

If Chelsea and Manchester United are serious about their pursuit of Griezmann, there are some star names who would likely find their places under threat.

Although, due to Griezmann's versatility and preference for a central role, Eden Hazard and Anthony Martial would perhaps not be direct positional rivals, their status as the most relied upon creative attacking force in their respective teams would come under threat. Let's see how they compare to Griezmann statistically...


Eden Hazard.

In the time that Griezmann has been representing the red and white side of Madrid, it's fair to say that Hazard has experienced some ups and downs at Chelsea.

In the Blues' title winning 2014/15 campaign, Hazard was phenomenal, scoring 14 goals and laying on nine assists on his way to being crowned PFA Player of the Year and FWA Footballer of the Year. But last season was a disappointing one for Hazard as he was unable to help Chelsea mount a serious defence of their title, scoring just four goals and providing three assists.

In the same period of time, Griezmann was much more consistent, scoring 22 league goals both last season and the season before. However, even with Hazard's dip in form, he was still able to create more goals for team-mates than the Frenchman, racking up a total of 12 assists since the summer of 2014 to the Atleti man's seven.

And Hazard also dwarfs Griezmann when it comes to chances created, with 177 to 84.

The former Lille attacking midfielder is well known for his dribbling skills and his take-on success bests both Griezmann and Martial by some margin. Hazard managed to dribble past his opponent on 65 per cent of his attempts - better than Griezmann's 45 per cent and the United man's 44 per cent.

Hazard also boasts a better pass completion rate than Griezmann with 86 per cent to 78 per cent, but Simeone's superstar is able to demonstrate greater shot accuracy, with 61 per cent of his efforts finding the target to the Belgian's 58 per cent.

Martial is a national team-mate of Griezmann's for France, but the two have yet to strike up an effective understanding on the international stage. At Euro 2016, Martial was dropped from the team as the former Real Sociedad man was moved to a more central position - the switch coincided with Didier Deschamps' men finding their form and progressing to the final.

Anthony Martial.

Martial has featured predominantly on the left wing since signing for United from Monaco in the summer of 2015, but the 20-year-old told Sky Sports in March that he sees his future in a more central role.

"I just want to help the team, and when I score I am happier, I am a striker and that's how it goes," he said.

So with that in mind, Griezmann's potential arrival at Old Trafford may block Martial's path to his favoured position.

Since the beginning of the 2014-15 campaign, Martial has scored 21 goals in 75 appearances between Monaco and Manchester United, a figure some way short of Griezmann's 50. The United youngster also created fewer chances (55 to 84) and has a lower shot accuracy (50 per cent to 61 per cent) than his international colleague.

But the two men's take-on success rate is almost identical, with Martial completing just one per cent fewer dribbles than Griezmann, and it's a dead heat when it comes to pass accuracy with both players finding a team-mate with 78 per cent of their passes.

And, despite creating fewer chances than Griezmann, Martial has provided two more assists.

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