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    Expectation vs Reality: 5 key reasons why Manchester United fans MUST forget about ANTOINE GRIEZMANN

    If you haven't heard already, world class attacking midfielder Antoine Griezmann has all but confirmed that he has turned down a move to Manchester United this summer. This came as a huge shock to the majority of football fans due to the intense rumours and hints dropping every single day about the transfer; it was even seen as a done deal to some.

    However, on Thursday evening, the Frenchman dropped a massive blow to United fans as he tweeted out to his 3.7 million fans on Twitter: - "now more than ever #atleti" - almost confirming he will not be departing Los Colchoneros this summer. 

    Furthermore, Manchester United themselves confirmed that they had cooled their interest in the player on Thursday morning, leaving many Red Devils supporters extremely downhearted.

    But here are 5 key reasons why they MUST forget about their beloved Antoine Griezmann: 

    He TURNED DOWN the number 7: the superstar was going to take over the famous number 7 shirt at Manchester United if he were to sign for them this summer and this isn't just a number for United fans; it has so much history associated with it. Legends such as Eric Cantona, David Beckham, George Best and Cristiano Ronaldo, just to name a few, wore the number 7 shirt at Manchester United. And lets not forget what Griezmann said earlier in the year. In an interview for French press he stated that his idol as he grew up was Reds legend David Beckham. - The fact that the Frenchman has turned down the opportunity to join those who have graced the 7 shirt, and especially his own idol David Beckham, should make United fans already want to forget about about him with no remorse.

    The number 7 is very prestigious at Manchester United.

    He was going to cost AT LEAST £87m: not only did he turn down the number 7 shirt, but he was going to come at a very large cost too. £87m is the reported fee which would meet Antoine Griezmann's buyout clause, and José Mourinho was ready to break the bank to sign the player. - Manchester United were confirmed last week as the richest club in European football, even above Real Madrid, but £87m is still a huge amount of money; especially for one player. And yes, I know, they did spend a very similar amount on Paul Pogba last summer, but at least the club were in desperate need for a central midfielder, whereas they have other world class options up top already with Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Marcus Rashford stealing headlines recently. - Surely spending £87m on a player who may not even be needed by the club would bring a lot of hate from rival clubs too and as a result, Griezmann may have not even performed to standard anyway had he joined the Red Devils this summer. Furthermore, the fee would have taken a large bite out of United's transfer budget and as a result fans may not have had as many signings to look forward to on top.

    Antoine Griezmann would cost a lot of money: £87m (€100m)

    There are alternative options, EXCITING OPTIONS too: with such a large amount of money Manchester United can buy almost all of the big names in football. The majority of these superstars would also be interested in joining due to the massive hype and reputation the club holds worldwide. Furthermore, United now have Champions League football as an additional attraction. There are only a few players that would actually be seen as 'unattainable' for the Red Devils this summer.
    So, you may be thinking, who is being linked with Manchester United right now? Well, as usual, almost the whole footballing world has been rumoured to join United. In fact, I think my Grandma would be a good shot to go for in the bookies. But seriously, there are actually a few realistic replacement options that United are likely to sign instead of Antoine Griezmann. 

    One of these is Juventus striker Paulo Dybala, who has scored 19 goals in all competitions this season. That's not a bad return for a 23-year-old who has been commonly found in the central attacking midfield position this season. The Argentinian has also got an impressive 7 assists and 7 man of the match awards this season. The ex-Palermo forward would be an amazing acquisition for United this summer and would cost the English club about £65m, which is very good when you realise that Griezmann would have cost over £20m more. 

    Paulo Dybala could be an option for Manchester United at £65m (€75m).

    Another player that the Red Devils may look to buy this summer is Everton striker Romelu Lukaku who has been on fire this season scoring 25 goals in 36 Premier League appearances in 2016/17. This great return saw the Belgian finish second in the Golden Boot race behind Harry Kane. - Lukaku would arguably be an even better signing for Manchester United this summer because he is already Premier League proven and would almost guarantee at least 20 league goals a season. Furthermore, his contract is due to expire soon and as a result the Europa League winners could pick him up for as low as £45m; considerably lower than Antoine Griezmann.

    Romelu Lukaku could be an option for Manchester United at £45m (€51m).

    Finally, Torino forward Andrea Belotti would be a fantastic replacement signing for Manchester United. The Italian has a remarkable 26 goals and 7 assists to his name in only 34 Serie A appearances this season. He has been on fire for Torino and this fine form has caught the eye of United manager José Mourinho with reports from credible journalist Di Marzio suggesting that he will make a move for the striker. This is very exciting news for Red Devils supporters, especially when he could cost as low as £35m, less than half of what Griezmann would have cost. Unlike Lukaku, he isn't Premier League proven, and unfortunately in recent years Italian footballers haven't had the best record in the English divisions, but Belotti would be likely to change that with an abundance of pace, flair and strength which would tear the league apart. 

    Andrea Belotti is another option United could view at £35m (€40m).

    These all seem like a very good options for Manchester United and as a result, supporters shouldn't be too downhearted by Antoine Griezmann recently turning down the club.

    Griezmann is NOT Premier League proven: unlike replacement target Romelu Lukaku, the French attacker is not Premier League proven and as a result the big-money deal for him this summer would have been a massive risk for Manchester United. This lack of experience in arguably the most difficult division in world football would give Griezmann a huge disadvantage behind the likes of Harry Kane and Sergio Agüero who have had years to get used to the demands of the league. Also, it would take him a long time to adapt from La Liga to the Premier League due to the vast differences between them. Consequently, he may receive a lot of abuse from rival fans as well as additional pressure which may drop his confidence and result in a lower level of performance than his price tag may have suggested.  So, United fans, I wouldn't be too disappointed if I were you, because who knows, he could have been a massive success but he may have also been a huge flop in the Premier League. Surely that would be too big a risk to take considering he would have cost £87m?

    Signing Antoine Griezmann would be a huge risk because he's not Premier League proven.

    Griezmann simply ISN'T STRONG enough: The Premier League is extremely demanding and you wouldn't associate Griezmann with the physical attributes that he would probably require to succeed in the division. Furthermore, his lack of height at 5ft 7in leaves him as a vulnerable target in the air and as a result Manchester United would lose the presence of a tall, strong attacker that they had in Zlatan Ibrahimovic in 2016/17. - Zlatan is likely to depart this summer, due to his £350,000 a week wage and his long term knee injury which leaves him out of action until at least November. Providing him with this large wage for such a long period of time without him as a player in the starting eleven would hinder United considerably. - Due to this likely departure, there will be a lack of a physical presence in the United side and Griezmann would have not been able to fill such a large void if he had signed. The Frenchman's lack of height and strength would had seen him left behind in the race for the Golden Boot and the fact that he wouldn't be able to meet the physical demands of the Premier League could had even seen him as a huge £87m flop.  

    Manchester United will miss the presence of an aerial threat next season, and Griezmann simply wouldn't fill that void.

    So, United fans, there's nothing to be concerned about regarding Antoine Griezmann. It is almost certain that he won't join you in Manchester this summer, but would he have really been a success in the Premier League anyway? Also, isn't there better options out there for such a large sum of money? Let me know what you think in the comments below, or tweet me @TheHaff11.

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    Item Reviewed: Expectation vs Reality: 5 key reasons why Manchester United fans MUST forget about ANTOINE GRIEZMANN Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Charlie Haffenden
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