A French winger/forward from France, plying his trade in the Spanish Primera Division, returns more goals/assists than Olivier Giroud…
Arsenal are bereft of genuine wingers aside from Theo Walcott and so the Antoine Griezmann link, resurfaced by The Metro, is not implausible as the Frenchman is a naturally left-sided player, is strong on the ball and retaining possession of it, adept at cutting inside and a constant goal-threat for Real Sociedad.
Thus far for Sociedad, he has returned nine goals and an assist from 12 appearances (1,023 minutes) in domestic competition meaning he is responsible for producing a goal once every 102 minutes.
As a comparison, Arsenal's towering striker - more of a true centre forward in terms of physical traits and occupied position on the pitch than Griezmann - has scored seven and assisted four times in 14 appearances (1,224 minutes) in the Premier League, a ratio of one goal he is responsible for every 111 minutes.
Griezmann also has a superior pass completion rate (78% to Giroud's 66%), is as prolific a shot-taker but attempts fewer key passes. Giroud is more of a team-player, bringing in those behind him into play, while Griezmann is acutely aware of defensive responsibility.
Ultimately, Griezmann would not be acquired by manager Arsene Wenger and slotted in to the first-team at the expense of Giroud but, rather, to play alongside him, to his left and, considering his productivity this season, he would provide a strong addition to the Gunners as they head into a crucial half of the Premier League season.
A 'club source' recently told MARCA that they were aware of the growing interest in Griezmann, that they 'want to keep him for as long as possible' but concede that they face 'a battle to convince him to stay'.
He is valued at £20m by transfermarkt.co.uk.
image: © ronnie macdonald