Manchester United’s 1-0 victory against Arsenal at the weekend may have signified the beginning of their potential championship defence - but there is still no doubt that they need to consider strengthening the team in January.
One player who is reportedly on that January radar is Real Sociedad winger Antoine Griezmann. He impressed in the games between United and the Basque club in the Champions League this season - and has also been linked with moves to Rennes, AS Monaco, Paris Saint-Germain and Arsenal.
However the young man himself confirmed United interest in his services just last week, stating:
‘’I know that some English clubs are looking at me and Manchester United is on that list. It’s nice to hear that but it doesn’t influence my work.”
A big Ryan Giggs fan he would love to try emulate the Welsh wing wizard at the club, and the thought of United being keen must be great news for the lad.
But he has started the new week with more good news, as hopes of a journey to the World Cup last summer were reignited by the French manager Dider Deschamps.
Despite playing in Spain, Griezmann hails from the Basque region of southern France, much like legendary French left-back Bixente Lizarazu.
And he has been a part of the French national team set-up since the age of 18, and was a regular member of the French Under-21 set-up - that was until November last year.
He was one of five players of the French Under-21 team who were caught out visiting a nightclub before their defeat to Norway in the play-offs for the European Under-21 Championships this year.
Along with Yann M’Vila, Chris Mavinga, Wissam Ben Yedder and Mbaye Niang were all given respective suspensions for the incident - Griezmann receiving a ban until December 2013.
But Deschamps seems to have forgiven him that misdemeanour, according to his recent comments:
“I know him very well, and I am very attentive to his performances. He is decisive. He is setting up a lot of goals and is scoring also. At the end of his suspension, he is likely to be a player to join the France squad.”
Griezmann has been dubbed ‘the next Ribery’ by some quarters of the French press - so his future commitment to Les Bleus is obviously something Deschamps would want to see, and it is not as if Ribery had always been the best behaved now is it.
Deschamps seems willing to forgive the past, and look toward the future - a future that seems to have Griezmann in the senior side.
Whether he will be playing for Manchester United or not remains to be seen.
image: © Carlos RM