Let’s all take a second to appreciate Antoine Griezmann was once crowned La Liga Player of the Year in a division containing Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar.
Drink that in.
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Griezmann’s ongoing transfer saga is one of the most captivating of recent times, with every European heavyweight under the sun queuing up for his signature.
And after a comparatively sluggish start to this season, his recent form is underlining why.
Griezmann became the first Atletico Madrid player in the 21st century to score back-to-back La Liga hat-tricks this week.
His four-goal haul against Leganes included a free kick, a half volley, a header and a typically clinical finish.
Talk about ticking all the boxes.
That took his tally to just the seven strikes in his last two games as Diego Simeone’s side continue to threaten Barcelona’s La Liga dominance.
But despite Griezmann’s loyalty to Atleti – he pledged to stay another season whilst the club were engulfed in a transfer ban – he is widely expected to move on this summer as a reward for his continued excellence.
Simeone is resigned to losing his jewel in the crown this summer after so many years in glorious tandem.
Griezmann’s buyout clause temporarily doubled to €200m during Atleti’s embargo but this summer it will return to it’s original value of €100m.
And, in the grand scheme of things, that’s an absolute steal for someone.
€100m works out around £89m in the current financial climate, which is the same as Man United forked out to bring Paul Pogba back to Old Trafford in 2016.
Four players have surpassed the £100m barrier since Pogba broke the transfer record – and Griezmann is arguably as polished, if not more, as all of them.
The Frenchman has continually battled the Real Madrid-Barcelona duopoly during his time in Spain, reaching at least 20 goals in all competitions in all of his four seasons.
We all know he’s more than just a goal hanger too, with assists and an insatiable appetite to press and harass defenders also key components of his game.
In many ways he’s the archetypal modern forward, excelling in just about every attacking category you could ask for.
Griezmann is squeaky clean and a brand’s dream too, with his marketing value up there with the highest around.
Just think of the shirt sales.
He’s also a man whose stepped up on the biggest occasion for his country, scoring twice against Germany in the Euro 2016 semi-final.
So if Neymar is worth €222m to PSG, snatching Griezmann for less than half that price represents potentially the best value for money signing in years.
Reports this week suggest Barcelona have already agreed a deal, particularly with the 26-year-old’s favourite number seven shirt now free after Arda Turan’s departure.
Wherever he ends up, Griezmann will be a poster boy for one lucky club for years to come.
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