Antoine Griezmann must get his motivation back
He is a player that all the major clubs in Europe would queue to have in their teams. Antoine Griezmann is one of the world's best footballers. As is often the case nowadays, though, loyalty is just a word. Players that spend an extra, unhappy year at a club tend to leave under difficult circumstances. Griezmann's case may not be any different. He is suffering his worst season as an Atletico Madrid player, netting only 11 times in 27 matches this campaign.
Griezmann is suffering a shocking dip in form. His body language shows a player whose heart is no longer at the club. Last summer, he was expected to leave the Wanda Metropolitano. He was close to joining Manchester United. The attacker had grown disillusioned with life at Atletico, as he had not won any trophies despite his obvious talent.
Griezmann joined Atletico in 2014 from Real Sociedad. He was hoping to reach the next level of his career, though it hasn’t quite happened for him. His goal returns are superb but collective joy as a team is missing, as Barcelona and Real Madrid have dominated in Spain and Europe. On Sunday against Valencia at the Wanda, the French international was seen gesturing wildly at a section of the home fans who were booing him for yet another mediocre performance.
Loyalty seems to be causing Griezmann grief. He decided against joining Manchester United last summer, despite personal terms being agreed. FIFA upheld a transfer ban on Atletico, meaning that had he left, the club couldn't have signed a replacement. Perhaps he should have gone, but the fans would never have forgiven him for departing when they needed his services most.
United have since signed Alexis Sanchez, meaning they don’t have an express need to ink Griezmann's signature. Paris Saint-Germain, meanwhile, explored the possibility of bringing the Frenchman from Madrid, but that ship has long sailed. Les Parisiens already possess a fearsome trident of Edinson Cavani, Kylian Mbappe and Neymar.
Which top team would want to sign Griezmann?
The signing of former Chelsea man Diego Costa has also not helped Griezmann's situation at Atletico. The 29-year-old Spain International enjoys the love of the fans. They see him as one of their own, a player that rose to the top despite challenges - traits the average working class Los Rojiblancos fan can relate to.
Griezmann must return to form before the end of the season to help the team win something. The Europa League offers a wonderful opportunity to end a 4-year trophy drought. It would also help the 26-year-old to leave on a high.
For the sake of France, Griezmann must find inner joy to help Les Blues win the World Cup in Russia next summer. A fantastic individual run in the tournament would put him in the shop window, just as it did for Colombia’s James Rodriguez four years ago in Brazil.