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Opinion: 5 Reasons why Antoine Griezmann should join New York City FC

The 33-year-old French attacker bagged 24 goals in La Liga last year, and wants to play MLS. Here's why the Big Apple is the right fit.

© Yukihito Taguchi-USA TODAY Sports

I've said it once and I'll say it again: Antoine Griezmann to New York City FC is a move that makes perfect sense for both parties.

As a New York City FC journalist, and an even longer Antoine Griezmann enthusiast, I feel this would be a dream move. And sometimes, dreams do become a reality.

Since I've been pushing this Griezmann-to-New York agenda for a while on X, I decided to elaborate on my obsession here in print. The following are five reasons why I believe that Antoine Griezmann to New York City makes sense, and should be completed this summer.

1. The market

It is obvious but worth mentioning that New York City is a market big enough to be home to players like Griezmann.

The 33-year-old is coming off an impeccable season with Atletico Madrid, where he scored 24 goals and assisted 8 more in all competitions. Now he's set to lead the line for France as Les Bleus look to challenge for the crown at Euro 2024.

Simply put, New York City is the largest sports market in the United States: It has the largest metropolitan population, and it boasts the Yankees, Knicks, Nets, Mets, Giants, and Jets, as well as the NHL Eastern Conference Finalist Rangers — and the 2021 MLS Cup winners NYCFC. The sporting culture and pedigree in The Big Apple speaks for itself.

It's also worth noting that New York City is a favorite destination for Griezmann. (We'll get more into that later.) Here he is enjoying Manhattan alongside Seattle Mariners CF Julio Rodriguez on May 21st ahead of France's pre-tournament friendlies.

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2. A Position of need

The fact is, New York City could use a boost in the attack.

Granted, Alonso Martinez's 10-minute hat trick off the bench vs San Jose in their most recent game added another contender for the battle to be NYCFC's No 9, but the role remains a position of need. The three forwards who played that role – Mounsef Bakrar, Jovan Mijatovic, and Martinez – have scored just eight goals in 16 MLS games this season, and that includes the recent hat trick.

As a club, NYCFC sits 12th in the MLS on goals per game with just 1.5 and is seventh in the MLS for big chances missed with 30. Considering the additions made in the off-season were supposed to enhance the attack, these metrics are surprising given the club's position at third in the Eastern Conference.

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The addition of a proven scorer and creator could bring the New York City attack to a new level. Griezmann's 387 combined career goals make him one of the most prolific forwards playing today. The only NYCFC player who comes close to Griezmann's career total is 37-year-old club legend Maxi Moralez, who has 236 career goals and assists.

The addition of Griezmann to this New York City frontline would be game-changing for the club, as the Boys in Blue look set to make another run for the MLS Cup. A potent goal scorer and impressive creator who can play across the front line and in midfield, Griezmann would provide head coach Nick Cushing with multiple options for creating strong lineups and accounting for injured or out-of-form players.

3: He wants to play in MLS

Outside of his affinity with the city of New York, which has seen Griezmann travel to the Big Apple multiple times over the past few years, the Frenchman has expressed his desire to play in the MLS in the past.

"I want to play in MLS. I want to finish my career there." Griezmann, like many other players, is enticed by the allure that is the American sporting culture, with all its glitz and glamour. The Frenchman is also an NBA and NFL fan, even hosting an NFL podcast alongside former Spanish basketball player and current NFL analyst Rubén Ibeas called Grizzi Huddle.

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Given the sheer amount of sporting organizations with headquarters in New York City, coupled with the presence of historic franchises like the Giants, Jets, Knicks, and Nets, Griezmann would have no shortage of American sports to indulge in, and that's just in New York.

4. A star player, a cut-rate fee

Antoine Griezmann is still at the top of his game. The former Euro 2016 Player of the Tournament and 2018 World Cup Champion was recently crowned as the all-time leading scorer for Atletico Madrid in 2024 and remains one of the focal points in France's star-studded Euro 2024 squad. A player of his caliber would still cost a pretty penny, especially given the inflated market in this modern era of transfer.

However, if reports from Spain are to be believed, there is a clause within Griemann's contract with Atletico Madrid that allows the Frenchman to leave the club this summer for just $16.3 million. For reference, that's around what New York City FC demanded as a fee for Brazilian forward Talles Magno this past off-season.

That price tag alone should make this deal a no-brainer. Just $16.3 million for a 33-year-old goal machine with bags of experience and pedigree that would instantly boost New York City's attack in numerous areas? What's not to love?

5: Keeping up with the Joneses

New York City is in a good spot right now. The Boys in Blue are riding a five-match win streak heading into the international break and sit third in the Eastern Conference, hot on the tails of Inter Miami and FC Cincinnati. Be that as it may, the squad could use strengthening. Looking at the league as a whole, you see that other clubs in similar positions are investing in the summer transfer window.

It's (probably) just a matter of time before Dortmund icon Marco Reus is unveiled as the newest Designated Player for the LA Galaxy, a playoff rival sitting fourth in the Western Conference. Rumors are circulating on Twitter regarding the possible arrival of Griezmann's former Atletico Madrid teammate Memphis Depay as a free agent, with the New York Red Bulls and LAFC both linked with the Dutchman.

The New York City FC front office has done great work in sticking to the club's transfer strategy of bringing in young and promising talent. Martínez, Bakrar, Mijatovic, and Agustín Ojeda just to name a few, are prime examples of this. But there comes a time for every club where pragmatism just isn't enough, especially when competing against super teams like FC Barcelona Inter Miami.

Doing what it takes to win

The arrival of Lionel Messi completely changed the landscape of the MLS. If you want to win, bringing in talented European stars to lead and mentor your young core players is the way forward. And no bigger star wants to play in the United States more than Antoine Griezmann.

If the 2021 MLS Cup Champions intend to return to the promised land of MLS Cup glory, a move for Antoine Griezmann should be priority number one this summer.

The time is now, but don't take it from me, hear it from the man himself:

For those not sold, here are Griezmann's highlights from his 2023/24 campaign with Atletico Madrid and France.

I'm begging you CFG, please make this little MLS journalist's dream come true.