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It is no secret that Jose Mourinho has big plans for Manchester United and hence, he is still looking for that one player around who can orchestrate the team, especially the forward line. He signed Romelu Lukaku and Paul Pogba for multi-million pound deals, but that alone will not help United reclaim their spot among the European elite.
For a long time, the club has lacked someone like Cristiano Ronaldo or the recently departed Wayne Rooney – a talismanic forward who can not only drive the players around him but also produce those moments of magic that not only decides a game but also separates the good footballers from the great.
Antoine Griezmann has long been linked to taking on the Ronaldo role at United and he would probably have done just that if Atletico Madrid had not been handed a transfer ban this year. However, with the ban in place, United have no chance of signing him until next summer when he will be 27 years old. However, the unexpected delay has also popped up an alternative: Paulo Dybala.
The Argentinian has been under the spotlight for a while now, but his performance against FC Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League semifinals last season truly underlined his world-class talent. Manchester United would be naive not to tap into it.
Let me first clarify that both of them have immense potential and can slot into the superstar seat that is still vacant at Old Trafford. However, Dybala at 23, is a better fit than Griezmann. This is because the Juventus man is ideally suited for the free player role in the attacking midfield position. He is not a specialist. He is more suited to dropping deep and donning the hat of an advanced playmaker or as a second striker.
This would ideally suit Lukaku as well, who can then run into the channels that would be left open by Dybala’s movements. Having scored 49 goals in 98 games for the Old Lady and having scored 5 in his last 3 appearances, it is obvious that ‘The Jewel’, as they call him in Turin, is hitting top form. He will soon turn into one of the world’s best players.
Griezmann, on the other hand, is best suited to the wide forward role. He can also double up as a central striker or a number 10, but United have good and promising players in all those positions. Moreover, if the Old Trafford outfit is looking for a specialist wingman who can score goals, Ivan Perisic seems to be a more viable option than the Frenchman.
A combination of Dybala, Lukaku, Perisic, and Mkhitaryan will give nightmares to opposition teams. They would form a strong spine for the team that would last for years. Paul Pogba is also likely to benefit form Dybala’s arrival, as they are both well-acquainted with each other’s styles from their days in Italy.
Hence, if United do plan on spending big next summer as well, it makes more sense for them to go for Dybala, a budding world class prospect, who can be moulded as per the needs of the team, than for Griezmann, who is already an established superstar.