Offseason Football News: Griezmann Leaving Atletico, Allegri no Longer Managing Juventus, and More
I know it is not quite the offseason just yet as the finals of the European club competitions and some domestic cups still need to be played, however, this is going to be a new series I will be doing where I will be talking about the major offseason stories from the football world. I will be discussing a wide variety of topics: major transfers, managerial appointments/firings, off the pitch news, and much more. The purpose of this series is not insightful analysis, but just me sharing my thoughts on a few of the top stories from the past week or two. Let’s get started.
Griezmann will be Leaving Atletico Madrid
In a video posted to Twitter, Griezmann announced that he will be leaving Atletico Madrid. In his five seasons at Atletico, Griezmann achieved an impressive 133 goals and 50 assists in 257 appearances. Griezmann has without a doubt developed into a world class striker that is able to provide goals on a consistent basis. Despite having a number of other good strikers, Atletico will surely have a difficult time replacing Griezmann’s goal output. Costa, Morata, Kalinic simply do not provide the same impact and cannot influence a game in the way Griezmann can. Atletico’s problems are further compounded by the departure of a number of other key players, including Godin, Hernandez and Juanfran. It appears that Atletico are in for an important summer and one that will likely have a major impact on their success in the seasons to come.
The club that signs Griezmann will be getting a world class striker in his prime that can offer three to four more good years before he starts declining. He is a player that any team would want to have, and I anticipate there will be strong competition for his signature. Early rumours suggest that Barcelona are strong contenders to sign him. Barcelona were also close to signing Griezmann last summer before he decided to stay at Atletico. However, I could also see Griezmann going to: PSG, Bayern and even Manchester United. Wherever Griezmann ends up it will be one of the defining transfers of the summer and one that will have significant implications on the power balance of European football.
Juventus Announced Allegri’s Departure
Allegri’s time at Juventus was a phenomenal success. He won the league title in all five years he spent at the club and also won the Coppa Italia in four of those years. Despite his Champions League shortcomings this year with the high expectations brought on by Ronaldo’s arrival, he did achieve some success in the Champions League as he reached the final on two occasions. This was a huge improvement for Juventus on the European front as they struggled in the Champions League under Conte. It will be very interesting to see who Juventus appoint to replace Allegri. Whoever does get the job will be under immense pressure to deliver immediate results in the Champions League with Ronaldo being 34 and not having many years left to try and win a Champions League trophy with Juventus. The other question that Allegri’s departure from Juventus raises is where he will go next. Unless there are any unexpected developments Allegri appears to be the biggest name manager that will be available this summer. With many top teams across Europe coming off of subpar seasons there will likely be a long list of teams interested in him.
De Rossi’s Controversial Roma Exit
After 18 years at the club, De Rossi will be leaving Roma after the club controversially did not offer him a contract extension. De Rossi has become a club legend having made over 600 appearances for the club and having been one of the best defensive midfielders in Italian football during the past two decades. He also inherited the Roma captaincy after another club legend in Francesco Totti retired. Some of De Rossi’s greatest career achievements include winning two Coppa Italias and winning the 2006 World Cup with Italy. The decision was not received well by Roma supporters who are understandably frustrated with how a number of players that have been loyal to the club have been treated in recent years. Protests have been staged outside the club’s headquarters with the club’s ultras inviting “anybody who feels their spirit has been betrayed” to join. De Rossi has said that he has accepted the club’s decision and will not be signing a contract extension even if the club change their mind.
Kompany Leaving Manchester City to Join Anderlecht
In a passionate letter that he posted on his Facebook page, Kompany announced that he will be leaving Manchester City. Kompany spent 11 years at the club during which he has become one of the club’s greatest ever legends along with David Silva and Aguero. Kompany, when healthy, was one of the best center backs in the world during the past decade and a natural leader that was worthy of wearing the captain’s armband. He was an integral part of City’s rise to prominence and he helped them win: four Premier League titles, two FA cups and four League Cups. Kompany also announced in his message that he will be joining Anderlecht as a player-manager.