Would they have liked what they saw? Probably not as the 22-year-old Frenchman took a position on the left side of Real Sociedad’s attack, unable to give Chris Smalling and Rio Ferdinand real problems on that side of United’s defence.
On the other side, there was another chance for United fan favourite Shinji Kagawa to play on the left side of United’s midfield, as he again proved the control and ball protection he can offer in midfield.
Here’s how they compared against each other in five statistical areas.
United’s Japanese star was well ahead in this area with 87% compared to Griezmann’s 69%.
That shouldn’t come as a major surprise considering United enjoyed more possession over the course of the 90 minutes.
If United do have a deep interest in signing Griezmann then that passing accuracy needs to be significantly higher in bigger games.
Griezmann had just 35 touches of the ball with Kagawa over double that, with 73.
That suggests that United dealt with Griezmann very well in terms of how they marked and contained him, often trying to crowd out the areas he normally plays in.
Again, it’s disappointing if United are keen on signing Griezmann because it shows a slight fragility in terms of being able to deal with tactics and think on his feet.
Kagawa wasn’t dispossessed at all last night during the game whereas United players were able to win back possession from Griezmann on two occasions.
One of the basic qualities that any Manchester United midfield player needs is that ability to protect the ball under pressure, preventing the opposition from winning it back easily.
Shots, Shots on Target and Key Passes
Once again Kagawa produced more in these three areas than Griezmann who failed to put a number in any of the columns.
Kagawa managed to get away two shots, one on target and he provided a key pass during the 90 minutes, suggesting he’s a much more complete player on that side of the midfield and attack.
Tackles and Interceptions
One of the only areas that Griezmann was better than Kagawa last night was in terms of interceptions, as he made a single one as Kagawa was unable to.
However, Kagawa did produce a key tackle defensively whereas Griezmann was unable to put in a single successful challenge throughout the match.
United will definitely think twice about moving for the Frenchman if his stats don’t start to improve significantly in big games.
image: © Marcel Sigg